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This web page last updated 11 November 2023


A Classy, Sassy, and Brassy Glass-Class on LionGlass, RoboGlass, and ArtGlass




This sub-page to ( ) is duplicated at also (at ).  This is purely speculation and internet research here.  No experimental glass materials were produced or tested, by the author of this paper.  Links to articles and research papers are provided, for LionGlass (from Penn State University), and other materials that might be combined with LionGlass.  Such materials include other types of glasses, Kovar, perlite, pumice, borax, boric acid. “water glass”, calcium bicarbonate, hydrates of sodium carbonate, silica gel, glass microspheres and micro-balloons, glass tubes, syntactic foams, foam glass, ceramic paper, many types of “grit” and fiber, and many more.  Techniques discussed here include the float-glass method, slumping, fusing, and exotic (proposed) new methods.  A proposed new tool named a “hot-glass gun” (evoking a molten-plastics-dispensing hot-melt glue-gun, but, of course, much hotter) is described here.  Potential applications here include structural and artistic products such as wall and floor tiles, window panes, kitchen counters, construction blocks, vessels (mugs, cups, bottles, jars, etc.), and COPV-like pressure vessels.



Preamble, and Bits of Boilerplate. 2

More-Specific Introduction. 3

A Palette of Glass-Associated Materials. 4

Glass-Working Techniques. 21

Materials Behaviors of Glass (and Ceramics) 23

Possible New Tools for Glass-Working. 26

Applying Hot Glass to Hot Glassware. 44

LionGlass and Float-glass. 49

More-Opaque Flat Glass. 69

COPV-Like Glass Pressure Vessels. 76

Moving Towards Robo-Glass. 76

Example Art-Glass Compositions. 78

Concluding Remarks. 80



Preamble, and Bits of Boilerplate


As before, as with other sub-pages of, the intent here is to “defensively publish” miscellaneous ideas, to make them available to everyone “for free” (sometimes called “throwing it into the public domain”), and to prevent “patent trolling” of (mostly) simple, basic ideas.  Accordingly, currently-highly-implausible or speculative design ideas (frequently marked as such) are sometimes included, just in case they ever become plausible, sometimes through radical new technology developments (often in materials sciences).

            Let me add, I have no problems at all with well-deserved patents, such as the patent(s) for “LionGlass” currently being applied for, by the Penn State researchers.  They are a team led by Dr. John Mauro, FYI.  It is the obvious and overly-broad patents that bother me.  For a humorous take on all of this, see .  For a recent POSSIBLE example (I haven’t read the patent, so I’m trying to not be too judgmental), see  “Why Nuclear Fusion Could Be The Key To Air Superiority”.  From there,  Lockheed Martin filed a patent for a fusion-powered jet several years ago.”  Patenting uses for controlled thermonuclear fusion, years or perhaps decades before such things become practical and affordable?  Well, if they can do that, I can “defensively publish” speculative uses for LionGlass etc., for sure!

            Dear Reader, excuse me as I will often slip out of stilted formal modes of writing here.  I have no boss or bosses to please with these “hobby” writings of mine, so I’ll do it my way!  I’ll often use a more informal style from here on in, using “I”, “we”, “you”, etc.  “We” is you and me.  “You” are an engineer, manager, or other party interested in what’s described here.  Let’s thwart the patent trolls, and get ON with it!


More-Specific Introduction


First off, in the “digression” or “random misc.” category, I have lately been in the habit of adding corrections or comments concerning my most resent paper, in my newest paper.  I’ve not found a way to update older papers already posted on “ResearchGate”.  My most recent paper here has been .  A lot of that paper was about hiding from radar by using low-dielectric-constant vehicle-construction materials.  I had my sneaking suspicions that this (as opposed to using RAM, Radar-Absorptive Materials) was a waste of time.  Now I have confirmation that this is (probably, largely) true.  Modern radars can see VERY well!  See  General Atomics: New radar to turn Gray Eagles into anti-drone hunters  From there…  Eagle Eye was able to detect and track a small fixed-wing drone made out of balsa wood — much smaller than forces in the field would likely encounter from an enemy.  So much for radar-invisible construction materials (such as wood), then…  End of this particular digression!

            In the mode of at least SLIGHT digressions, let me also note that some of my past papers were (perhaps in the minds of some readers) cluttered up with a LOT of links to some fairly easy-to-find (easy-to-“Google”) information. for example had lots of links-sources for dielectric constants of many types of materials. (incomplete title in the link, but there it is) shows MANY handy links (sites) for units conversions, and many types of materials parameters (including costs) for many types of materials.  So of course, if you’re interested in such things, check out these papers!.  This time around, I’ll try not to clutter up this paper with easy-to-find facts.  Also excuse me as I sometimes will repeat my favorite (most relevant) links several times, in different contexts.  At the ends of certain sections, I may add a bit of clutter with “dumps” of less-than-stellar links that MIGHT be of interest, too.  If I don’t include ENOUGH links and sources, and you need some help in that category (or other categories), please email me at

            Onward, now, to the actual introduction…  Here, we’ll first review a “palette” of useful materials, starting with LionGlass, and moving towards less-and-less plausible-for-common-uses (more expensive, more exotic) materials.  I will sneak in “previews of coming attractions” (techniques, tools, and applications) as we go through materials.  Then we’ll cover techniques, and then tools, most especially to include a “hot-glass dispenser tool” or “hot-glass gun”, as envisioned by Yours Truly.  Then we’ll describe potential applications in a fair amount of detail.  Repeating from the above abstract, potential applications here include structural and artistic products such as wall and floor tiles, window panes, kitchen counters, construction blocks, vessels (mugs, cups, bottles, jars, etc.), COPV-like pressure vessels, and telescope mirrors.


A Palette of Glass-Associated Materials


“LionGlass” is the lead character in this show, clearly!  I couldn’t find detailed specifications (yet) for costs, density, CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion), mechanical strengths (in compression or tension modes), or certain other materials-behaviors facts or parameters.  As we can see from the below links, LionGlass’s melting point is significantly lower than other glasses, and far less fracture-prone, when tested at 10 or more times more force, compared to older types of glass (when poked with a sharp point, presumably a sharp point of diamond, as in the Vickers test; see ).  Importantly, I do not know LionGlass’s (quite important) thermal expansion and contraction coefficient (CTE, ).  The best link (with the most details) that I could find, concerning LionGlass, is here:,of%201400%2D1500%C2%B0C.&text=Considering%20that%20carbon%2Dbased%20energy,carbon%20footprint%20of%20its%20own  Quoting from there, ” A molten glass that reaches a target viscosity at a lower temperature is safer and more affordable to work with. For example, soda lime silicate reaches its softening point, the point where it begins to slump underneath its own weight, at about 730°C.8 LionGlass reaches this same point more than 100 degrees lower, at about 590°C.”

            From this immediately-above-linked source, see “Figure 1”, for viscosity (liquid “thickness”) v/s temperature for soda-lime glass and for LionGlass.  To understand that “molten” glass can be VERY viscous (thick), think of glassblowers that you’re seen in action, or videos thereof (or go and look one up).  For a small look-ahead “cheat”, please consider that I would like to see what happens if un-expanded perlite expands in LionGlass.  This (perlite expansion) happens at 1,600 degrees F (871 degrees C).  871 C fits in a VERY nice spot in the above-referenced viscosity v/s temperature graph for LionGlass.  Such a blend of expanded perlite and LionGlass should be less dense (heavy) than LionGlass, and probably more affordable, and may offer other benefits, too.

            To put LionGlass into context, not only with respect to soda-lime glass, but to other types of glass as well, for viscosity v/s temperature, see  This one excludes the newer “LionGlass”, but does show 100% silica glass (AKA quartz glass), which has a nearly over-the-top (very high) melting point.  It is, however, also over-the-top expensive, generally speaking, sad to say.

            A grab-bag of links that I have gathered concerning LionGlass (less useful to me at least, than my favorite such link, as above) follows: and and and .  Also  .OK, one more, it’s pretty good:,C%20to%201500%C2%B0C .    Enough yet?  If not…  Go Google!

            Finally, let me add that I realize that LionGlass (like its predecessor, Gorilla Glass) will most likely be too expensive to be used in large quantities, for glass-art purposes.  In that case, feel free, when reading all of the below, to take “LionGlass”, and substitute for it, “LionGlass or any other suitable future material, especially a more affordable material”.


“Perlite” can sometimes be called “mineral microspheres” (especially, I suppose, in its expanded form).  See,resistance%20and%20water%20retention%20properties.  Elastic and mechanical properties of expanded perlite and perlite/epoxy foams  From there, “Perlite is a glassy volcanic rock of silicic composition and in its expanded form has a high porosity (>95%), low density (~ 0.18 g/cm³) and offers excellent thermal and acoustical insulating properties, chemical inertness, physical resilience, fire resistance and water retention properties.”  Also from there, “Syntactic foams have superior mechanical and thermal properties but they are more expensive and denser than conventionally gas-blown foams.”  Note that “syntactic foam” usually refers to a matrix (bonding agent) of epoxy, but I would like to see someone attempt to use LionGlass (or other glass) instead of epoxy, for that.  We’ll look at “syntactic foam” more later  If not-much so in this paper, perhaps in a future paper!

See,twenty%20times%20its%20original%20volume .  From there, “Perlite is an amorphous (with no defined crystalline form) volcanic glass (silica or SiO2) that has relatively high water content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian.  Perlite has the unusual characteristic of expanding and becoming porous when it is heated.  It can expand to as much as twenty times its original volume.  Expansion occurs when the glassy lava rock is heated to 1600 degrees F (871 degrees C) and the water molecules trapped in the rock turn into vapor, causing the rock to expand.”  Note the 871 degrees C, which would work nicely with blending the expanding perlite with molten LionGlass (and possibly other ingredients as well, in “TBD” ratios), to experimentally determine what useful material blends might result.

What is the difference between obsidian and perlite?  And pumice?  See,less%20than%200.5%20%25%20of%20water.&text=Perlite%3A%20is%20a%20gray%20or,result%20from%20hydration%20of%20obsidian.  From above, “Obsidian: is usually a black, massive glass with a shiny, vitreous luster and conchoidal fracture. Is a rhyolitic glass with less than 0.5 % of water.

Perlite: is a gray or pale brown glass, very brittle and highly fractured, with spherical cracks.  Perlite glass probably result from hydration of obsidian.

Pumice: is a highly vesiculated, cellular glass froth.”

Also from above, “ Essentially all glass older than Mesozoic has been devitrified.”

FYI, glass is “amorphous”.  “Devitrified” means it has “degraded” to a crystalline or containing-crystals form.  OK, “degraded” may be too judgmental…  Which is “better”?  Crystals, or glass?  It depends on what you want to do with it!  I want to concentrate on “glass” here, mostly.

We’ll address pumice soon.  It is nature’s version of human-made “glass foam”, both of which will look into some more, further below.  So anyway, perlite and LionGlass blends…  What would happen?  I for one would sure like to know!  Now here is your grab-bag of more associated links: “Modelling the Thermal Treatment and Expansion of Mineral Microspheres (Perlite) in Electric Furnace Through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD): Effect of Process Conditions and Feed Characteristics” and  Novel Cellular perlite-epoxy foams: effects of particle size” and  Novel cellular perlite-epoxy foams: Effect of density on mechanical properties”.


“Pumice” is another possible ingredient to add to, or blend with, LionGlass.  It has already been mentioned above, as we explored “perlite”.  Pumice could, for example, be sprinkled on top of cooling-down glass panes, to create floor tiles.  Pumice is “gritty” and would add friction (roughness) to this surface, to prevent people (and their pets!) from “slip-sliding away”!  I’ve not gathered many links about pumice, but you can “google” it as well as I can, no doubt.

For the melting point of pumice, see,occurs%20at%201350%C2%B0%20C.  Experimental study on pumice and obsidian”  From there, “Thermal experiment on the pumice at atmospheric pressure shows that welding begins at about 900° C and complete melting occurs at 1350”  It sounds like it could be used for a surface treatment for LionGlass!  Or for a surface treatment of perlite expanded into LionGlass at 871 C!

That’s all that I have for pumice.  “Google” away for more, and-or consult an AI!  I am sure that an AI can “hallucinate” answers here for you, as well as the rest of us can!


“Other Minerals and Types of Sand” are other possible low-cost ingredients here (to be blended with LionGlass), as well as other types of glass, or glass crushed into sand particles.  Obsidian glass and other natural forms of glass come to mind.  For more types of glass, ask The Google!  Soda-lime glass, borosilicate glass, quartz glass, lead glass, and more.  See .  Barium titanate glass is yet another type of glass; see .  Also, types of glass can be blended.  See, for example,,-Microballoons%20and%20Microbubbles&text=Microbubbles%20can%20be%20used%20to,proprietary%20sodalime%2Dborosilicate%20glass%20blend.  This source says…  Typically the glass formulation for hollow microspheres is a proprietary sodalime-borosilicate glass blend.”

            Diatomaceous earth (diatom shells) could possibly serve as an ingredient (to be blended or mixed into LionGlass, for example).  “Google” it for yourself!  So could many-many types of sand and minerals.  I’ll make no attempt to list many more of them, lest I turn this paper into a joke that resembles .  The only exception here (an additional type of sand worthy of special mention) is pure-silica or “quartz” sand.  This is what (usually) is highly compressed (along with an epoxy binder) to create “engineered stone”, which is a bit expensive, but is often used for kitchen countertops.  Perhaps we could substitute LionGlass (for epoxy) as the binder.  Thermal expansion coefficients of this sand v/s LionGlass would be HIGHLY relevant here, but I don’t have this number for LionGlass.  More about all of this (engineered stone) will be covered later.


“Glass coloring agents” (for stained glass) are other possible (affordable) ingredients here.  See , or “Google” at will!  With LionGlass having a significantly lower melting point than older forms of glass, other coloring agents may become possible (and practical).  I do NOT know enough about such things, to speculate usefully, here, so I will quit, now, concerning that. has many notes about metals and metal oxides, and what colors they can impart to what kinds of glass, also.  Note that trace amounts of cobalt can create the color blue, here. says “Transition metals' unfilled d-shells also allow for selective absorptivity when in a glass; for example, chromia (Cr2O3) gives a green tint to glass; neodymium (III) oxide (Nd2O3) colors glass purple, and iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) lends a green tint.”  This is an excellent general site concerning glass, and it discusses other types of glass and glass additives, and infrared and neutron-radiation absorption, x-ray transmission or absorption, and refractive indexes, as are associated with different types of glass.


“Kovar” is a metallic alloy whose CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) is well matched to conventional types of glass (borosilicate glass specifically).  I don’t know the CTE for LionGlass, so I don’t know if Kovar is suitable here, or not.  I will assume so.  If I’m wrong, substitute some other metal or alloy (I hope that there is one) which matches the CTE of LionGlass, whenever I mention “Kovar”.  See for starters.  Other types of metals or alloys might be formulated to match other “COEs” in other glass-types.


“Glass micro-spheres and micro-balloons” are other possible ingredients here for mixing into LionGlass.  Sad to say, they are NOT very affordable!  They are used in “syntactic foams”, typically with epoxy as a binder.  One MIGHT be able to replace the epoxy with LionGlass, but I am quite skeptical about that.  Why?  See,-Microballoons%20and%20Microbubbles&text=Microbubbles%20can%20be%20used%20to,proprietary%20sodalime%2Dborosilicate%20glass%20blend.  Materials: What are Microspheres Made of?”  Which says,  Typically the glass formulation for hollow microspheres is a proprietary sodalime-borosilicate glass blend. The thickness of the wall is most often around 10% of the diameter and the exact density varies dramatically as a function of the particle diameter of the individual spheres. Because the shell is so thin, microballoons are highly fragile and should not be used in high shear processes.  (Emphasis mine.)  If we try to blend (mix) microballoons (even with the balloons being made of higher-melting-point glass than the LionGlass), the heat will inevitably soften the balloons.  Then add the stress of ANY “mixing force” (stirring force) to the (thick, viscous) mix (even molten LionGlass will be thick or viscous, resisting mechanical mixing), and these spheres (in my intuitive mind for sure!) will NOT survive!  I could be wrong!  So this possibility (glass-on-glass syntactic foam) is at least mentioned here, in passing.

Other than lightening up the density (weight) of the LionGlass, at fairly high expense, I’m not sure what we’d be accomplishing here, even if we succeeded, with glass micro-balloons.  So I’ll just dump in my few collected maybe-useful links, and call it quits.  See,form%20with%20a%20hollow%20structure.  A Comparative Study of Production of Glass Microspheres by using Thermal Process Figure #1 there shows a setup for production of these spheres…  From there,  In contrast, hollow glass microspheres are produced by adding a blowing agent to glass powder [3].  Blowing agent such as sodium silicate decomposes to multiple gases when burned, causing the microsphere to form with a hollow structure.” Also see  Porous SiC and SiC/Cf Ceramic Microspheres Derived from Polyhydromethylsiloxane by Carbothermal Reduction”

            Are there Quartz glass micro-spheres ?  Yes!  See .. But they’re very expensive!  And now also don’t forget The Wiki, which, along with The Google, knows all things!  See , which says “Additional functionalities, such as silane coatings, are commonly added to the surface of hollow glass microspheres to increase the matrix/microspheres interfacial strength (the common failure point when stressed in a tensile manner).”  This can serve as a lead-in to our next topics here…


“Silane and Silane Compounds” are also of interest, as we now move on to some chemicals that are (or may be) useful to us here.  See  and,to%20that%20of%20acetic%20acid.  Also as previously mentioned right here in this paper, mentions silane.  See also  Influence of Glass Fiber wt% and Silanization on Mechanical Flexural Strength of Reinforced Acrylics”.  Phenyltrimethoxysilane is a specific silane compound likely to be one of the most-likely-use to us here.  It has a 131 °C to 233 °C boiling point, depending on who you ask!

There are other alkysilanes, and they all seem to have similar boiling points and costs, which are general affordable for our uses here, so long as we keep our demands for product purity low, and buy in large volumes.  For glass-associated uses, your other sensible choices seem to be 3-Glycidoxypropyl silane and phenyltrimethoxysilane.

Note that 3-Glycidoxypropyl trimethoxysilane resin (commercially known as Dow Corning Z6040) is for glass-to-tape bonding, but perhaps with a wee tad of reformulation, this could be used for our specific uses (proposed uses of silane compounds are discussed further below).  But Dow Corning sounds like a good place to start, maybe!

At this point, I would like to expand your vocabulary with the words grickle, grickled, grickling, and other plausible variations thereof.  Just as sealant, caulk, caulking tool, etc., are generic, in that the precise formulation of the sealant or caulk isn’t specified, so, too, will be the case with grickle.  Grickle is any formulation of liquid, paste, or solid for the purpose of being applied to hot glass.  It may be applied as anything ranging from a thin (not very viscous) liquid to a solid, and may be applied as a flux, bonding agent, coloring or writing application, a molten-glass paint, or a paint-plus-primer (for hot but solid glass).  Grickle is NOT a word for various formulations of the main glass body itself!  Silane compounds are the first of several prime liquid ingredients for formulating grickle, especially for primer or flux applications.

If these (“grickle”) words are adopted in the glass world, some confusion could be avoided.  For example, “crackle medium” in the glass world is a FAKE glass cover paint-job, a non-glass paint (resin for example) over real glass.  There is no such thing (to my knowledge) as a single glass layer with REAL glass crackle added, that is fired in as kiln, in the same sense as there are “crackle glazes” for ceramics (pottery), which are fired.  Crackle glass (all true glass) today is a 3-layer sandwich of glass; see,glass%20in%20a%20busy%20environment.  (Cited here several times.)  I know of NO “crackle glaze” that is or contains true glass, applied to one single glass layer and then fired.  Invent it, please, and THEN it can honestly be called “grickle crackle glaze”, to specify that it is intended for hot glass firing.  Perhaps it might work, with some formulation of (or with) LionGlass applied to glassware (bottles, jars, etc.) before the glassware is annealed.  If so, the glaze would be called “grickle crackle glaze” as opposed to ceramics-pottery “crackle glaze”.  “Grickle” should specify hot glass work, and exclude the base layer of glass alone, where the language is already pretty clear (to me, at least).


“Water Glass, AKA Sodium Silicate” is also of interest (and another prime possible constituent of grickle).  See .  It can serve as a glue.  From the here-cited link, “Sodium silicate is also used currently as an exhaust system joint and crack sealer for repairing mufflers, resonators, tailpipes, and other exhaust components, with and without fiberglass reinforcing tapes. In this application, the sodium silicate (60–70%) is typically mixed with kaolin (40-30%), an aluminium silicate mineral, to make the sodium silicate "glued" joint opaque. The sodium silicate, however, is the high-temperature adhesive; the kaolin serves simply as a compatible high-temperature coloring agent.”  (Emphasis mine.)  Keep in mind that at high temperatures, as in, inside (or on the surface of) molten or hot glass, this “water glass” will outgas.  Sodium silicate outgassing temperature is apparently pretty high.  From the previous link, “Heated to drive off the water, the result is a hard translucent substance called silica gel, widely used as a desiccant. It can withstand temperatures up to 1100  C”, which is higher than our targeted 871 C for expanding perlite into LionGlass.  Wiki’s “silica gel” link is , which says “Silica gel is an amorphous and porous form of silicon dioxide (silica), consisting of an irregular tridimensional framework of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms with nanometer-scale voids and pores.”  So I think that sodium silicate could be applied (to something, even a glued-together assembly, that you want to add to molten glass) as a wet glue (and-or paint), then slowly dried and heated, till it transitions (or partially transitions) to silica gel, and then added to molten glass.  Certainly this could be an interesting experiment!  More on that later…

What could we do with a glass additive consisting of silica gel (or pumice), with the internal tiny voids filled with silane gas?  Or silane compounds?  Maybe get surface-layer “grit” to bond to hot glass, to increase friction, if we use glass as a floor tile?  I sure don’t know, but thought that I’d mention it in passing!


            Borax AKA Sodium Borate, or Anhydrous Borax AKA Sodium Tetraborate is also of interest, and of MUCH interest as a prime ingredient of grickle formulations! says “Anhydrous borax is sodium tetraborate proper, with formula Na2B4O7. It can be obtained by heating any hydrate to 300 °C.[18] It has one amorphous (glassy) form and three crystalline forms -- α, β, and γ, with melting points of 1015, 993 and 936 K respectively. α-Na2B4O7 is the stable form.[18]"  Borax is a water-soluble salt.  Note that our above source also says that borax is a “Component of glasspottery, and ceramics”, and can be used “as a metal soldering flux, as a component of glassenamel, and pottery glazes.”  That sounds REALLY promising for some of the uses proposed further below!  It doesn’t specifically say that it could be used for glass-to-glass bonding flux (in hot-glass fusing), but we could be well advised to use borax to formulate (hold together) other compounds that CAN most certainly do this job well!

            Note that throughout this entire paper, I have frequently called on borax to be a prime ingredient of “icing” on “sand-apple upside-down cakes”, “glue” for glass-sand sand-paintings on panes of glass, melt-into-the-glass “barriers” between different colors of glass-sands, and so on.  Such uses of borax must be “formulated” to “COE-match” the glass in which it is used!  So if I don’t repeat that often enough, here it is:  Borax contains boron, as in borosilicate glass, which has a low COE, or Coefficient Of Expansion.  Many types of “artistic glass” have a higher COE than borosilicate glass has.  COE-matching, I am told, is vitally essential in avoiding glass-cracking, if we’re fusing or melting glasses together!  So if you (as seems to be often quite likely) need to “jack up” your borax-based formulation’s “COE number”, then add some lead oxide, or other agent!  I am frankly no chemistry whiz, and know few more details.  Borax is water soluble, and most-effective COE-raising compounds may often NOT be water-soluble…  So go with a recently-stirred slurry, maybe, and…  Good luck!

            Well, actually, also see sodium carbonate, calcium carbonate, hydrates of the preceding, calcium bicarbonate, calcium oxide, and associated glass-compatible chemistry, in hopes of adjusting COE compatibility, as well as “glass fluxing” action.


            Boric Acid MIGHT also be of interest!  See ...  And frankly, the chemistry gets to be “over my head”, and this paper is too long already!  It contains boron, which is also a pretty useful ingredient of some pretty useful glasses!  Enough said, for a glass-amateur like me!


“Calcium Carbonate” is also of interest.  It forms limestone, stalagmites, and stalactites.  Shelled sea creatures make shells out of it.  I’ve dreamed up some possible uses for it here.  See some links and out-takes that I have collected: says… “Limestone (Calcium Carbonate) is one of the main components in glass manufacturing. Its main function is to introduce Calcium Oxide into glass recipe, which is needed to improve chemical resistance and durability. It also acts as flux in glass manufacturing.”  Here’s a slightly different form of it: .  Sodium bicarbonate is the form of it that we’d use if we want it to be water-soluble.  See and too...  Never forget the Wiki!

Heat calcium carbonate enough, and you get calcium oxide.  For more about calcium oxide, you can see that it is a common ingredient in glass.  See and and .


“Sodium Carbonate” (AKA soda ash) is also of interest.  It is a salt whose hydrates are water soluble.  This is a soda-lime-glass ingredient. says that “Sodium carbonate serves as a flux for silica (SiO2, melting point 1,713 °C), lowering the melting point of the mixture to something achievable without special materials. This "soda glass" is mildly water-soluble, so some calcium carbonate is added to the melt mixture to make the glass insoluble.”


 “Kiln Wash” is also of interest.  It is used to prevent hot (especially glazed) pottery or glass from sticking to kiln shelves or to other pieces of (art) glass or pottery.  Talk to The Google for more information, of course…  Also see for a ceramic-based (a version of “ceramic paper”) heat-tolerant insulating “shelf paper” to perform the same function as what “kiln wash” does.


“Ceramic Paper” is possibly also of interest, along with other types of ceramics.  Note that we are now moving into categories of often more exotic and expensive materials.  For ceramic paper, see for “High Temp Gasket Material”.  There, we can see that super-wool (ceramic paper) is rated for up to 1,300 degrees C…  Also see ceramics that can bend, at  From there, “New Flexible Ceramics Could Make Bendy Gadgets a Realityand “The material apparently has properties similar to paper while retaining the high heat-resistance of ceramics.  At further length (from the same source), ‘Eurekite's "flexiramics" ostensibly retain the positive properties of ceramics while being flexible rather than brittle. In a video from Eurekite, CEO Gerard Cadafalch holds a piece of the material over a flame and it doesn't catch fire.  The material can reportedly withstand heats of at least 1,200 degrees Celsiusabout 2,190 degrees Fahrenheitthe hottest temperatures Eurekite's lab can achieve.  The company says they can make the material in thickness ranging from "a few micrometers to over a millimeter," according to

            Various forms of ceramics MIGHT possibly be included inside glass, or incorporated (melded, fused) onto the surface of glass.  More on that later.

Also see Strong, lightweight, and recoverable three-dimensional ceramic nanolattices”.  For a brief discussion of the exact same material, see  Ceramics don't have to be brittle: Incredibly light, strong materials recover original shape

after being smashed”.  Sad to say, I have found no information about costs or temperature tolerance for this type of material.

For a last item on ceramics, the following may be of passing interest to us: .  Sad to say, it doesn’t look to be high-temperature tolerant.  From there, “Because the newly developed ceramic contains a gluey polymer, it would fail in high-temperature environments like the inside of an engine. So the Berkeley researchers are experimenting with metal fillers, which can withstand higher temperatures.”  From 2008…  A bit old by now!

            By now, “ceramic paper” seems to be readily available.  See   It’s a bit pricey, but not exorbitant.  “Google” away for yourself on that aspect of things…  To my knowledge, it is available ONLY in the “color” of white!


“Silica Aerogels” are quite pricey for general glass-working, so they are only mentioned here in passing.  Carbon-fiber-laden aerogels are also expensive, but a bit less so than other forms of silica aerogels, and certainly stronger than many other kinds of silica aerogels.  In any case, one could, for example, arrange an artistic arrangement of glass-compatible sands (especially colored glass that has been shattered into sand), or other suitable coloring agents, on top of a piece of aerogel, and then place it onto the top of hot glass.  On top of hot liquid glass coming out of a float-glass machine, for example.  The aerogel would dissolve into the molten glass, leaving behind your artwork, for posterity!  Aerogel with a white coloring agent (such as suitably-formulated mix with properly-sized particles of titanium dioxide) would perhaps make some cool-looking clouds, in glass art!


Iridescence, Metamaterials, and Stranger Things… Oh my!  Excuse me, Dear Reader, but, late in researching this paper, I stumbled on some more glass ingredients and techniques, which I will now dump in here, in a probably-disordered fashion.  Ingredients and techniques are “married at the hips” anyway, right?  See and ALL of what it mentions!  “Tiffany glass” is AKA “favrile glass”.  An especially noteworthy ingredients-related set of notes from this “Tiffany” link is now imported:  The term ‘opalescent glass’ is commonly used to describe glass where more than one color is present, being fused during the manufacture, as against flashed glass in which two colors may be laminated, or silver stained glass where a solution of silver nitrate is superficially applied, turning red glass to orange and blue glass to green.”

See  The Mystery of Iridescence in Glass”… It seems that at least some of the iridescence of ancient glass wasn’t there originally, but was picked up over time and aging.  Along the same lines, see and similar recent articles regarding “aging in the mud” that created “photonic crystals” over time.  “Wow glass” makes a good search-string for more information.  Perhaps if materials scientists can figure out how to speed up (and make affordable) these kinds of glass-aging processes, we can make beautiful art-glass butterflies, for example!  If not integrated into the glass, then perhaps in art-glass “cookies” (see much further below, concerning that).

Parenthetically, let me interject, look carefully at any ads or web sites about “iridescent glass coatings”, which will (Usually? Always?) be non-glass paint jobs…  NOT embedded deep in (and through) the glass, like Tiffany glass.  Non-glass “paint jobs” will be less durable than “dyed in the glass” jobs, of course.  They might even peel right off, over time!

            “Glass metamaterials” makes a good search string, as does “Bragg Stack”, or “dichroic glass coating”. Concerning the latter, see and   Who knows what future “tech” will bring to the artistic glass-working world?!


“DNA-Based Glass and Other Exotic Materials” are possibly also of interest, for those interested in such things…  I imagine that some (if not all) of the following materials will be WAY too exotic and costly for most of the uses that I will describe.  AND my imagination is failing to come up with any suitable applications for such exotic and doubtlessly high-cost materials!  But here are some such choices … This concerns DNA and nano glass covering the DNA with empty spaces left…  Scientists Create New Material Five Times Lighter and Four Times Stronger Than Steel”.  From there, “The team plans to look at other materials, like carbide ceramics, that are even stronger than glass to see how they work and behave.”

The following may be less exotic and expensive than the above.  Let’s call these “glassified fibers” for further-below reference.  See   A New Way To Control Fire – Scientists Develop Novel Nanoscale Material”.   Here, a thin glass layer develops over the outer surfaces of cellulose fibers. And then this glass prevents quite as much oxygen from getting in to oxidize the fibers….  Out-take below:

“Here’s how ITD works. You start out with your target material, such as a cellulose fiber. That fiber is then coated with a nanometer-thick layer of molecules. The coated fibers are then exposed to an intense flame. The outer surface of the molecules combusts easily, raising the temperature in the immediate vicinity. But the inner surface of the molecular coating chemically changes, creating an even thinner layer of glass around the cellulose fibers. This glass limits the amount of oxygen that can access the fibers, preventing the cellulose from bursting into flames. Instead, the fibers smolder – burning slowly, from the inside out.

            “Without the ITD’s protective layer, applying flame to cellulose fibers would just result in ash,” Thuo says. “With the ITD’s protective layer, you end up with carbon tubes.”

            The above links to here: ...  From there, “Herein, alkysilanes grafted onto cellulose fibers are pyrolyzed into non-flammable SiO2…”  So silane, as previously mentioned here (alkysilanes more specifically), are a “magic ingredient” for us!  Or at the very least, a prime candidate ingredient!  More specifically, my further research tells me that the specific alkysilane here (or certainly, one of great interest to us) is likely to be phenyltrimethoxysilane.  More about that later.

            As best as I can tell, the following is still not available for sale.  It may be too exotic.  See for heat resistant ceramics that can be drawn into fibers.  These might fit in here as well.  From there, “Ceramic fibers made of silicon, boron, nitrogen and carbon remain tough and stable even at temperatures above 1500 degrees Celsius.” (SGL Carbon) in Wiesbaden, Germany, apparently MIGHT someday still plan to start producing these fibers, and they may prove to be suitable for building high-temperature-tolerant composites, which are NOT as brittle as ceramics or glass usually are.  Or perhaps such fibers could be embedded inside glass, or we could use them as paint bristles for painting liquid glass onto a base layer of glass.  Time may tell about price and availability.

            This concludes my list of exotic or semi-exotic materials candidates for possible use with LionGlass.  Some other simple non-exotic materials will be mentioned further below, but I don’t want to add too much clutter here to my materials “palette” section.

            Well, let me amend that thought with another thought!  In a sort of an in-between fashion, let me mention…


“Embedded Wires or Mesh” inside the glass has historically been used to create an older kind of “safety glass”.  says “Wire mesh glass (also known as Georgian Wired Glass) has a grid or mesh of thin metal wire embedded within the glass.” is a good source for wires made of Kovar, to make a mess well-matched (CTE-wise) to borosilicate glass.  As previously mentioned, I have no idea what the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of LionGlass is, so I don’t know if Kovar is a good fit, or not, here, but maybe we could make our wire mesh out of Kovar wire. says “Monolithic wired glass is rolled, polished, annealed glass with a layer of wire embedded in the middle.  Historically, wired glass was used in locations where an ‘appearance’ of security was sought, for example, in jewelry display cases and museum displays. It has also been used in skylights to prevent broken glass from falling into a room or onto walkways in the event of breakage. Wired glass gained popularity, in part, because it can be cut to size from stock sheets in the field, using tools commonly used for glass cutting. The primary use of wired glass was and continues to be in locations that require fire-rated construction materials.”

What kind of wire (using what kinds of metals) is used inside ”wire mesh glass”, AKA (Also Known As) “Georgian Wired Glass”?  My research tell me that stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum alloy, or steel can be used.  Kovar might possibly be more expensive than what is really-truly needed here, much of the time.

Why do I bring this (wire mesh) up here?  Not so much for “safety glass”, but more-so for “artistic glass”.  Wire mesh might be used to suspend other items to be embedded into “float glass”, for example, to create artistic forms of flat (plate) glass.  More about all of that later, alligator!


“Miracles Happen Here Formulations” is a short section that will help us to transition out of a materials palette, towards techniques, tools, and wild speculations of mine.  Not being a chemistry whiz OR a glass expert, I’m sure that I’ll make some mistakes!  But here’s a list of formulations that I’d like to see being made to work, and wild guesses as to their likely ingredients, with more details further below. Sometimes I call them ingredients of glass-working “grickle”, a word that I’ve made up, in hopes of being helpful!

Flux for adding splotches of color to glass-ware  A base layer or primer layer added to glass (think bottles etc.) before annealing them.  Over this base layer goes a (hopefully COE-compatible but maybe not well matched; colored-surface-layer “crackling” might be OK) layer of colored liquid glass.  The liquid glass might have a lower melting point than the base glass.  Anyway, flux or primer might contain solids (metal oxides for fluxes and-or coloring agents) suspended in a liquid or slurry.  Stir often if needed.  The liquid base might contain silanes, hydrated borax, boric acid, sodium carbonate hydrates, water glass, calcium bicarbonate, any of various forms of “grit”, or some kind(s) of short fibers.  Insert magic here!  Oh, and, the primer might somehow be combined with a glassy coloring layer, perhaps…  OR on the other hand, MULTIPLE layers of primers and glass paints might be needed!

(Temporary) glue for holding colored sands (in an artistic arrangement) on top of a plate of glass, such that the sands aren’t disturbed or “jostled” while being moved and processed, before being “fused”.  The exact same list of suspects (materials candidates) as listed immediately above can re-apply!  Since the purpose is different, I suspect that the formulation will need to be different.  Once more, the glue just might be applied in multiple layers, including before and after the colored-glass sands go down.  As usual, we’ll want to pay attention to COE (Coefficient Of Expansion), and hopefully not polluting, too much, our nitrogen-hydrogen environment (if applicable), as our glue out-gasses (while it gets burned off and-or incorporated into the glass product).

“Icing” on the “sand-apple upside-down cake”, AKA, the thumped-brush method.  See details further below. Once again, the same candidates and criteria apply.  The job is much tougher this time, and it may not be possible!  The dried-out formulation must cling to the brush-bristles just right  Not too strongly, and not too weakly!

“Dissolvable stitches” for glass.  Search for “stitches” far below, for context.  Most of the above comments apply once more, but with more emphasis on fibers, I would think.  Maybe thin metal wires as well.


Glass-Working Techniques


“Slumping Glass” is one method or technique.  See glass slumping technique and forms at. .  Here, we learn that most molds (for slumping glass) are made of ceramic clay or stainless steel.  Now the following link is a repeat from further above, but,of%201400%2D1500%C2%B0C.&text=Considering%20that%20carbon%2Dbased%20energy,carbon%20footprint%20of%20its%20own  tells us that “…soda lime silicate reaches its softening point, the point where it begins to slump underneath its own weight, at about 730°C.8 LionGlass reaches this same point more than 100 degrees lower, at about 590°C.”

Google at will as usual, of course, but my research has told me that one can soften glass at a lower “slumping point” v/s a higher “fusing point” where glass melts together.  If you’re a glass artist who wants to fuse one piece of glass together with another one, and THEN slump the two, do your fusing first, cool the assembly down, and then do your slumping, second.  Soda-lime glass fusing point is here:  Soda-lime glass fuses between 1350 degrees Fahrenheit to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.” . This is according to,higher%20than%20soda%2Dlime%20glass.  That translates to 732 to 815 degrees C.  LionGlass will probably fuse (together with LionGlass) at 100 C or so lower than that.  Fusing one type of glass to another type of glass is an unknown for me, especially concerning LionGlass!  This is mostly since I don’t know what the “COE” of LionGlass is.  But I can (and will) always speculate!


“Float Glass” is also of interest.  See .  Rather than cluttering up this paper with too many easily-available out-takes, let me just summarize that the glass is “floated” on molten tin, in a nitrogen and hydrogen atmosphere.  Nitrogen (an inert but affordable gas) I can understand, to keep the tin from oxidizing.  I would speculate that the hydrogen is added so as to absorb (combine with) any oxygen that manages to sneak in.  In chemistry-speak, this is: Hydrogen is added to insure that we have at least a slightly “reducing” environment, not an “oxidizing” environment, with some “buffering” or safety margin added, beyond merely providing an inert-gas environment.  LionGlass MIGHT be “floated” on a lower-melting-point liquid metal as compared to tin, but I would humbly submit that the price of such a development process (for some other molten metal) wouldn’t be worth it.  I have been taught that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  Also note that the glass is slowly cooled in a “lehr”, to “anneal” the glass.  See and then also .  I don’t know if LionGlass will be any more tolerant of rapid cooling (in need of slow annealing), compared to other types of glass, but I would dearly love to know!  This is (especially economically, and in terms of environmental impact) very IMPORTANT!

OK then, not TOO much clutter here, hopefully, but also see,of%20a%20molten%20tin%20bath.  From there, “In the float glass process, the ingredients (silica, lime, soda, etc.) are first blended with cullet (recycled broken glass) and then heated in a furnace to around 1600°C to form molten glass. The molten glass is then fed onto the top of a molten tin bath.”  (Emphasis mine.  Cullet  Expand your vocabulary!) Also, from ,”In North America for example, the ribbon thickness can range from approximately 3/32” to 19/32”. The typical width of the float glass ribbon is 102 inches, and the maximum length is 240 inches. In Europe, the ribbon thickness can range from approximately 2 mm up to 19 mm.”  The “ribbon” refers to the molten glass that is floated out, to anneal and cool, forming large panes (sheets) of solid glass, which are then cut and processed.

Now, concerning the following topic (and link), I will DEFINITELY want to speak to this some more, but note that for glass at the very least, the “annealing” and cooling processes will take longer, the thicker that the material (glass) is.  Else we have differential cooling on the surface v/s the inner parts of the material, which leads to differing thermal contraction due to cooling, and hence, to cracking (or sometimes surface “crazing”).  See and from there, “This last mirror will take four months to cool.”  This is FOUR MONTHS of annealing and cooling time!  Well OK, perhaps more precisely, says “The mirror then enters a one month annealing process where the glass is cooled while the furnace spins at a slower rate in order to remove internal stresses and toughen the glass. It takes another 1.5 months to cool to room temperature.”


“Foam Glass” is also of interest.  See , which tells us that  Foam glass is a porous glass foam material.”  Also from there, foam glass has “…a small expansion coefficient (8 × 10 °C)…”  It has dimensional stability, that is.  I see no reason to recite or repeat more facts about it for now.  More about “foam glass” later, though (well, maybe in another paper, for MUCH more about it; not much more for now).


Materials Behaviors of Glass (and Ceramics)


“Annealing Glass” is one thing we’ve already discussed, or at least, mentioned.  Glass, compared to many other materials types, requires a LONG time to cool down from the molten state, if you don’t want it to crack!  And the thicker it is, the longer that the required cool-down time is.  Technically, not ALL of the cool-down time is “annealing time”.  And specifically with respect to LionGlass on these matters?  I have NO idea, but would LOVE to know!


“Crazed Glass or Crazing, and Cracking” are other concerns.  Take your work of art (or utility, or both) out of the kiln (and cool it down) too fast, and it will develop deep cracks and-or surface cracks, or become “crazed”.  There can be other causes as well.  See,way%20you%20operate%20your%20stove  for another example of a cause of “crazing” in glass.  I’m not totally sure about the following matters, and don’t want to get side-tracked too much here, but I think it is safe to say that surface “crazing” is more acceptable in the pottery (ceramics) world, than in the glass world, both artistically and structurally.  In pottery, “crackle glaze” can be used to attain this effect deliberately.  Designed “crackle glass” is a “thing” as well, it seems.  See,glass%20in%20a%20busy%20environment. …  And we learn that 3-layered glass…  Two surface layers of unbroken glass, and a middle layer of cracked glass…  Can actually be QUITE safe and strong.  “…crackle glass is up to six times stronger than regular glass panes…” says this web site.  Single-layer “crackle glass” is always (to my knowledge) PAINT on glass, not solid glass, or a high-temperature-fired glaze, as can be used on pottery.  See,ware%20fired%20at%20low%20temperatures , which says that “Crazing is a crack pattern caused by thermal expansion mismatch between body and glaze. After the glaze solidifies (as the kiln cools) it shrinks more than the body. To relieve the tension of being stretched, it cracks. Crackle glazes are typically found on ware fired at low temperatures. Stains and other colorants are often rubbed into the crack lines to heighten the effect.”  See as well.  AND see,result%20in%20cracking%20or%20breaking , “CRACKING AND THERMAL SHOCK”.

It is highly probable that the word “craze” should NOT be used when “cracking” is meant.  Actually, I find some conflicting messages “out there”!  See also.  Now let’s move on!


“Crizzling Effect in Glass” is a concept that could potentially be confusing with cracking or crazing, but is different.  Apparently it refers to surface cracking (and even loss of surface materials) in poorly formulated or processed, often older or antique, glass, due to intrusion or incorporation of moisture (water).  See , “THE USE OF EQUILIBRATED SILICA GEL FOR THE PROTECTION OF GLASS WITH INCIPIENT CRIZZLING”


“Meniscus Effect in Glass” is a perhaps-wild question or speculation on my part.  In water, the inter-molecular bonds that are normally fully 3-dimensional are forced to go semi-2-dimensional at the surface of the water (bonds are concentrated), forming a higher-strength surface.  Some people say that even room-temperature glass is a VERY-VERY THICK (viscous) liquid.  See,is%20neither%20liquid%20nor%20solid .  Does cold “thick-liquid glass” have a stronger surface layer, a similar “liquid” meniscus?  I have “Googled” a LOT, and have no firm answer, with respect to LionGlass!  Does ANY form of today’s commonly used glass show this “meniscus” behavior?  (There, I believe that the answer is a fairly firm “no”.)  Will LionGlass show it?  I would dearly love to know!

If so, if LionGlass will show the meniscus effect, this effect should strengthen in a “foam glass” version of LionGlass, to the point that foam glass has more strength per-mass-of-glass than the solid glass does.  Emphasis here is on PER MASS of glass!  Would added strength also show up at the interface between LionGlass and presumably lower-density inclusions, such as expanded perlite?  I should hope that these questions are at least worth asking…

For LionGlass specifically, if there is no answer yet, to this question (is there a meniscus effect at work here), a suggested testing technique is as follows:  Use some solid masses of LionGlass (say 0.1 Kg), and test their strengths to destruction, both in compression and tension loading modes.  Now create some foamed-LionGlass specimens of 0.1 Kg as well, and test them likewise.  If the foam glass is significantly stronger PER MASS, then the meniscus force is likely to be at work!


Possible New Tools for Glass-Working


I now want to move towards describing a proposed tool that I’ll call a “hot-glass gun” (evoking a hot-glue-gun).  But first, I want to describe associated ideas, sub-components, and accessories.  Unlike a hot-glue gun, handling a working hot-glass gun in human hands, even in thickly gloved human hands, sounds prohibitive for anything other than the briefest snatches of time!  For optimal, sustained use, such a tool will be used mostly inside a hot kiln, remotely controlled by humans or machines (especially by robots), I would think.


“Silicon Carbide Electronics” is a relevant topic, if, as seems highly likely, we’ll need some electronics located inside a hot kiln.  These are well known to be high-temperature tolerant.  See or any of MANY other “Google hits” about this…  Silicon carbide for electronics is a well-known idea.  What is a bit more of a narrow subset of this may be electronic high-temperature memory, where we have this:  Deep Jariwala (a researcher) and scandium aluminum nitride   See (sorry, it is pay walled)…  But from there, “Super-heatproof computer memory survives temperatures over 500°C;  A kind of computer memory made from the semiconductor scandium aluminium nitride withstands extreme heat in tests, making it potentially useful for space missions”.  This is a just-FYI lead for deeper research for those interested in such things…  Please be advised that the “New Scientist” full article isn’t very long or detailed, at all.


“Ice-Boxes Inside the Kiln” are a good idea to chill (at least a LITTLE bit) high-temperature electronics, motors, sensors, cameras, and other gear that really should optimally be located inside the kiln.  Yes, locate as much gear as you reasonably can, OUTSIDE of the kiln, and relay data via cables and fiber-optics, and forces via shafts, gears, chains, and cables, if you can.  The rest of them?  Protect them from heat, while being located inside the kiln!  A bit of “leakage” of cooling fluids routed to the “ice boxes”, into the hot kiln environment, can be tolerated.  And yes, “ice boxes” could be located inside hot-glass guns, which are, in turn, located inside the kiln.  See “ice-boxes” (use that as a search-string, or just “ice box”, and see Figure #1) at .  This paper in turn cites another paper, which discusses a useful constituent ingredient for building such a heat-shielding “ice box”, which is at (and also at ), titled “Designs for Passively, Thermally Gated Fluid Flow Switches”.


“Hot Cameras” would be useful inside a kiln, or inside a float-glass factory, both for remote control by humans, and for AI-driven robots observing (“learning”) the processes.  And perhaps eventually for controlling the processes!  Since a float-glass factory contains an atmosphere of nitrogen and hydrogen, placing a human in there becomes prohibitive!  So “spy cameras” to watch these processes sounds like a good idea!  (They may already exist; I don’t know.  But here are some ideas.)  Stationary cameras are less troublesome; Mobile cameras would be more complex.  In either case, high temperature exposure will probably be troublesome.  If not in short time-frames, then more likely, long-term heat exposure will degrade materials eventually.  So we’ll want to insulate and cool the most sensitive, vulnerable parts…  Camera, wires, cables (perhaps), and fiber optic cables.  See “ice boxes” in this document.  A high-pressure cooling fluid could be routed (along with wires, cables, etc., to keep them cool as well) through successive-pressure-dropped stages, making sure that the last (camera) stage stays cool.  The final camera and camera-eye could be protected by “quartz glass”, AKA near-pure silica glass, which is expensive, but quite heat-tolerant.  Use true quartz glass (amorphous), and NOT crystalline quartz.  This is per the following:  says (with respect to crystalline quartz, not quartz glass) that “Quartz should not be processed or used at temperatures greater than 490 °C  So, for this particular application, use quartz glass; quartz crystals are ruled out!

“Study up” on fiber optic borescopes as well; there are applicable ideas involved therein.  If you want to actively maneuver your camera around, I am out of novel (but plausible) ideas to suggest.  Manipulator cables (strings) as are used to make stage puppets dance, might be a good place to start.


“A Hot-Glass Gun”, I consider to be a prime feature of this paper.  Some people have even been known to say that “happiness is hot, hot-glass gun”, while others say that saying such things is a bit low and Beatle-browed.  I’m staying OUT of that fight!

A hot-glass gun would have an outermost shell to contain all of the rest of the gun.  Then there would be a cavity containing a heat source, which could either be electrically-heated wires or coils (nickel-chromium is commonly used), or gas-fired flames.  Both kinds of heat sources are used in kilns, but electric power is usually best, for easy temperature control, and for other reasons.  The drawing(s) here will show flames, to make things intuitive.

Inside the heater cavity, there will be another innermost cavity containing the feedstock.  Feedstock could be called “glass mash”, perhaps.  It could be raw ingredients (sand, etc.), or it could be previously-formulated glass, which was smashed to bits to create glass-sand.  “Glass mash” ingredients could be fed into the tool hot or cold, liquid or solid.  And it could be routed into there (through both the outermost tool-wall, and the inner wall of the heating cavity) in 1, 2, or more channels (or pipes, ducts, etc.), for different ingredients, to include glass, coloring agents, additives like perlite, etc., at different spots along the tool, as the “glass mash” travels towards the hot-glass dispensing tip of the tool.  Ingredients could be conveyed (pushed) by Archimedes Screw augurs, into the glass mash.  The glass mash (in its innermost cavity, inside the heating cavity), in turn, is propelled towards the dispensing tip by TWO funnel-shaped rotors, which rotate against each other (while agreeing with each other at the contacting, mating interface between each other, direction-of-spin-wise), in the style of eggbeater rotors.  The beating blades of a conventional eggbeater are far, far too long (extensive, hard to drive through a thick, viscous glass mash), though, and should be replaced by simple, short rods.  The dual rotating rotors would probably best be equipped with Archimedes Screws as well (along with the short rods), to help propel the mash, along with the mixing-grinding forces provided by the rods.  The rods are there to help force mixing.  With short rods, it would ALSO actually be possible to make the mating surfaces of the rotor DISAGREE with each other (where spinning surfaces meet), if the rods are suitably located, and this design would then force even more vigorous mixing.  It is my opinion that such a design choice is too aggressive and power-hungry, for the thick “glass mash” involved here.

It is high time, now, to start providing drawings.  Here’s a drawing of a single rotor for a hot-glass gun.  I think that a funnel shape is optimal, although the degree of taper could be changed.  It could even be taken down to ZERO taper, where we’d have two pie-dough-rollers rolling against each other.  The size of the device is unspecified.  Suit yourself!


Figure #1


Next, let’s zoom out, and lose tight focus on the rotors… 



Figure #2

Next, let’s zoom out some more, and lose more label-clutter on the innermost parts…


Figure #3

Some more notes are in order.  Note that I used double purple lines for the walls of the glass-mash cavity, just to make it intuitively clear that some thickness is in order here, not only to contain the rough, muscular nature (depending on precise uses here) of munching and crunching on glass fragments and-or thick liquid glass, but also, to properly constrain the bottoms-of-the-rotors bearing-tips.  The outermost tool layer (the outer single-lined red wall as shown, outer wall of the heating layer) are shown in a single red line, simply because I was lazy!  If the hot-glass gun is going to be operating at temperatures significantly higher than its environment (the kiln or float-glass factory), then yet ANOTHER layer (not shown) should perhaps be added, and that would be some thermal insulation.

Also not shown are feed lines feeding the ingredients to the glass mash.  As previously remarked, both the heat-wall and the mash-and-rotors-cavity-wall will need to be penetrated by the augur-driven feed lines, with motors or drive shafts for the feed line augurs.  Drive motors and-or drive shafts for the mixing rotors are also not shown.  Or “ice boxes” to protect some of these things!  Use your imagination and mechanical skills, and GO for it!

Now think also, about humans (and most other mammals) having jaws that allow a bit of “float”, or flexibility, to mash and chew on harder foods.  Too much rigidity isn’t good!  For that reason, the “top” ends of the two rotors (not shown here, but on the opposite ends of the rotors, away from the dispensing nozzle ends) might want to have spring-loaded shaft-bearings, to provide some “slop” (a more technical term being “compliance” I believe) to allow the tool to flexibly munch-and-crunch on chunks of glass, or other solids, or stiffer “lumps” in the mix, which might be too “thick”.  More-compliant bearings there might make more sense than having more-compliant bearings on the (as shown here) dispenser tip.  Mixing and grinding forces generated by “chunks” in the mash, should be much diminished by the time the glass-mash reaches the dispensing tool-tip.  If the tool gets stuck and won’t “go” (rotors won’t spin), because of a large chunk or lump of glass, or for some other reason, spin-sensors and some software “smarts” should be added…  It won’t go?  Reverse a bit, and go at it again!  Apply retries quantity “X”, before, perhaps, a longer pause time, or a total stoppage of the gloppage!  (“Gloppage” being a technical term for gloppy, gloopy, thick, viscos, perhaps even lumpy molten glass, in case you weren’t aware of that.)

Another important point DEFINITELY deserving mention here is that the entire glass-mash cavity could be PRESSURIZED (with respect to the kiln or float-glass environment, of course) to help propel the glass-mash towards the dispenser tip.  Plain old air may work, if oxidization of mash ingredients, or other items or materials in the kiln, isn’t a concern.  Or use an affordable inert gas like nitrogen.  Or perhaps nitrogen mixed with hydrogen, as was previously mention here with respect to .

A “business end” view of the hot-glass gun may be in order.  This focuses on the voids in the glass-mash wall (and the bearings there) for the hot-glass dispenser tip.


Figure #4

Materials for this “hot-glass gun” could be anything heat-tolerant, strong, and affordable enough.  I would say that stainless steel, titanium, and-or silicon carbide (or a mix thereof, with appropriate materials at appropriate locations) would be wise choices.  Exotic (and expensive, no doubt) materials that could be considered would include materials from ; See more specifically for carbon-fiber-reinforced carbon, for example. says that silicon carbide is a good choice for sandblaster nozzles.  Our hot-glass gun-nozzle (depending on what materials are dispensed) may be subjected to many erosive forces as well (just like a sandblaster), so silicon carbide might be a good choice at our nozzle.  Note that silicon carbide has a decomposing point at 5,130 F or 2,830 C, which leaves us with a LOT of margin (at least for the uses that I envision).

Note that many sorts of variations could be designed, differing from what has been diagrammed and discussed so far.  For example, the rotating shafts of the mixing-grinding rotors could be capable of flexing.  The glass-mash chamber (containing the two rotors) could then be elongated at the “tops” of the drawings (with little or no taper “up” there), the rotating drive shafts could change their angles, and only the last jaunt (of material flow) to the dispensing tip would then be inside a tapered tool.  A flex-shaft joint is shown here: .  Here’s another photo .  An upstream umbrella-like “shield” could be installed inside the mash chamber, to at least partially protect the flex-joints from way-excessive erosion.  Wherever such flex-joints exist, mixing and grinding would be minimized in a bit of a “holding chamber”.

Also note that feed-stock-feeding lines (not shown in drawings here at all) could be located at any convenient spots along the flanks (length) of the tool, or at the materials-flow-starting BASE (off-screen “top” as shown in drawings here) of the tool.  And, concerning the (in the above drawings) blue-colored short mixing rods protruding from the rotors?  Such rods could, of course, be many or few…  And they could ALSO be pointed inwards from the mash-cavity walls, as well as outwards from the rotors.  As for me, my personal opinion is, don’t “do” any over-kill!  More of these means more force is required to drive the rotors, and our mash-mix will be quite THICK (viscous).

Many other variables are obvious, and so, will not be discussed here.


Simpler Versions of This Tool could be ultra-simplified…  One could simply ladle highly molten liquid glass into a hollow tube with a constricted end, writing-pen-style, and have the liquid be gravity-fed.  I think that this idea is HIGHLY implausible, simply because of how “thick” molten glass is, even at very high temperatures.  This idea becomes only SLIGHTLY more plausible if, after loading the liquid contents to the “glass pen”, we add a connection to pressurized gasses at the feed end of the pen, to blow the molten glass out, creating a “glass-dispensing pen”, or “grickle pen”.  Or a solid pusher-rod, syringe-style.  A pipette-style dispenser, with a flexible bulb that can suck up the molten glass, and then dispense it, is, I think, clearly implausible.  For starters, such flexible but heat-tolerant materials as would be needed for the “squeeze bulb” of a pipette simply don’t exist.  A spring-loaded “draw-off syringe” would be a LOT better alternate for such a thing, in this application.

An outermost “heating layer” could more plausibly be done away with.  Going from two mixing rotors to just one is also highly plausible, especially if we add at least a few mixing rods (shown above in blue) to the outer wall of the mash chamber, as was discussed a bit above, in this paper.


Paint Brushes for Liquid Glass may sound absurd at first glance, but painting a liquid glass with a lower melting point (such as LionGlass) onto some other type of still-hot-but-mostly-solid glass, and hoping for the two types of glass to durably “fuse” to a useful degree, may make sense.  This will work if the chemistry works!  Sad to say, I  don’t know for sure if it will, or not.  Are there hot chemicals which could be brushed on as a “primer layer” to assist the fusing action of two types of glass?  Apply a primer, before adding (painting or otherwise) a layer of LionGlass?  Probably!  Let’s save that for later.  It gets rather complicated.  But please note that as we move away from the “heavy guns” (hot-glass guns), which I envision as being used to lay down entire layers of glass (base glass), towards the simple tools, which I envision being used on selective areas as a coating, we can speak, now, of “grickle tools”.  Brushes for hot glass are clearly “grickle tools”.

For now, let’s say that the bristles for such a high-temperature grickle brush could be metal, strips of “ceramic paper” (use “ceramic paper” here in this paper as a search-string), ceramic fibers, or high-tech, doubtlessly-expensive fibers (as were already previously discussed) from Germany, at (a repeated link here) for heat resistant ceramics that can be drawn into fibers.  These might fit in here as well.  From there, “Ceramic fibers made of silicon, boron, nitrogen and carbon remain tough and stable even at temperatures above 1500 degrees Celsius.”  (End of repeated section).  Note that “ceramic paper” as is formulated today, most likely wouldn’t be suitable here, since it won’t absorb liquid glass.

Metal bristles may be subjected to too much bending and “metal fatigue”.  They might disintegrate too soon to be practical, that is.  On the other hand, if the tips of metal bristles stir into the underlying thicker (harder) glass layer, while the thinner cover (“painted”) layer of glass is applied, this may help to strengthen the bond, by intermixing glass types.  If used in an oxygenated environment (a kiln containing air instead of inert gasses), the oxides layers of metal bristles, as the oxides are formed and then abraded into the glass, may also serve to strengthen glass-on-glass bonds (via molecular-bonds-networks formation), via “fluxing” action, and by lowering the melting point of the surface of the underlying solid or semi-solid glass.  Depending on WHICH metals are used in the brush-bristles, that is, for the chemistry aspects of bristle-surface oxides!

One could also intermix or blend the bristles-types.  For example, strips of ceramic paper could be curled into “C” shapes, to increase bristle stiffness and molten-glass-carrying surface area, with the base (but only the base) of the “C” shapes enclosing wire bristles.  The “C” shapes could be completed to form tubes, almost-tubes, or slightly-doubled-wrapped tubes of this “ceramic paper”.  One might even force-feed the head of a hollow-handled brushing-tool with the thin (hot) LionGlass, or LionGlass-plus-additives, molten-glass “paint” to be painted onto the harder (and perhaps cooler) surface to be “painted”.  And obviously, if we chose to use strips of ceramic paper, we want to choose or formulate such “paper” to absorb, rather than repel, molten glass...  If this is possible!  Shelf-lining ceramic paper (previously mentioned as an alternative to “kiln wash”) would presumably NOT be a good choice, here, for that reason!


Grickle Formulations will vary in composition, depending on how hot the base-glass is, that it is being applied to, how hot the grickle is, what colors one wants (if the grickle is a paint), and how much fluxing (or other priming) action one wants.  Grickle may contain any of the materials listed in the materials “palette” section here above, and prominently feature borax, water glass, silane compounds, metals, metal oxides, and fine-grained sand, to include fine-ground glass…  And possibly more!  See the section (here) titled “Miracles Happen Here Formulations” for more (speculative to be sure) information.

Depending on what wants to do, and what is possible, grickle may be thin liquid paint, like a toothpaste, like lipstick, like chalk for your chalkboard, or like graphite for your mechanical pencil (solid but easily eroded), or like a pellet for your pellet gun.  So, to keep things intuitive, I’ll write of grickle paint, grickle-paste, grickle-lipstick, grickle pencil sticks, and grickle pellets.  For a specific use and color, I don’t know what form the grickle will take.  For one thing, I can’t find much if anything about the mechanical strength of solid (anhydrous) borax… But then I thought, even if I knew that parameter, I want to add other substances to the grickle mix, in an unknown-proportions mix, and no one will know ahead of time, what the viscosity or mechanical strength of the grickle-mix will be!  So I’ve stopped obsessing about such things.  But we’ve now expanded our grickle vocabulary!  This will help make sense of the additional “grickle tools” that I’ll now describe, immediately below, and associated notes about “grickle formulation” for liquid, paste, stiff gels, pencil lead, etc.


Grickle Paints and Brushes, Take #2…  Of course, define your need first, formulate your paint accordingly, and THEN select or design your brush!  A grickle brush may be as previously described under Paint Brushes for Liquid Glass.  If your grickle paint is a paste, especially a more-viscous (thicker) paste, the brushes could exist only around the periphery of the applicator-tip, with a hollow space in the middle, facilitating easy flow.  If you want to force-feed the paste through the handle of the brush, one could use a pump and a motor, OR one could use peristalsis action!  Peristalsis action would consist of travelling waves of “squeezing” the paste, using pneumatic actuators or solenoids.  Flexible hoses can only be used if the temperatures are low enough to not damage the hoses, though.  Or use “ice box” technology to selectively protect your hoses.  I see no reason why solid, actuated “paste squeezers” inside a pipe couldn’t be use to implement peristalsis.  Tight seals against leaks might be troublesome here, though.

A grickle powder brush (probably with metal bristles) just MIGHT make sense in SOME applications, but I can’t see it, very well.  On a solid (as in glass-wares), the powder would be most likely to fall off.  In float glass, if the brushes touch the glass, the bristles and powder would quickly “tar up” with liquid glass.  If one held the brush right above the liquid glass, without contact, and imparted shocks or vibrations to the brush, causing the powder to fall out, that just MIGHT work!


Grickle Lipstick Applicator…  This item should speak for itself!  Use your (or someone else’s) mechanical talents to design a suitable high-temperature applicator.  If “smearing” of the lipstick is a big problem, as entire chunks of lipstick break off, placing some stiff (wire?) bristle-guards around the periphery of the protruding lipstick might help.  If one were to use this method to write on a bottle, pre-annealing, we’d have a message ON a bottle, instead of IN a bottle!  Maybe “Sting” could sing a song about it, for us!


Grickle Mechanical Pencil…  This item, too, should speak for itself.  After we define our need and then formulate our grickle, we might have added liquid (hydrated) borax (etc., see Miracles Happen Here Formulations” here in this paper), maybe a wee tad of silane compounds and “water glass”, and, most widely various… Metals, metal oxides, and-or other coloring agents!  Then we heated and dried the mix (turned the borax into anhydrous borax, etc.)…  Since we experimentally determined that this was the only practical grickle that we could come up with…  Oh, I don’t know, all other forms had “gravity settling”, one-substance-repels-another problems, or other problems…  This is what we came up with.  The “pencil core” here might even be hollow, with another substance inside of it, or two (or more) solids glued together side-by-side.  In any case, we now design a grickle mechanical pencil to suit!


Grickle Pen…  This might dispense liquids.  It might have a sharp metal point with a trough on top of it, for digging (plow-style) shallowly into liquid float glass, or through a layer of just-dumped glass-sands, with liquids fed into the trough.  The liquid here would usually be a coloring agent, I would think.  A grickle pen (for float glass) might also be a combination as follows:  Same as above, a plow-tipped pen, but no liquids need apply (or be applied).  Instead, right above the plow, a powder-laden brush is VIBRATED to release the powder, without the brush-bristles contacting the molten glass.  This could avoid the molten-glass “tarring” problem, of course.  Or, liquids and powders could both be applied at the same time, at the point of a grickle-pen.  Tarring of the plow itself might be a problem.  If so, perhaps a “dry lube” (glass-compatible powder) could be laid down ahead of time, before grickle-pen contact, for the entire run-length of the pen.  The dry lube would prevent tarring, and hopefully (if properly formulated) melt into the glass, leaving no, or few, other marks.  Fine-ground glass-sand (plus additives?) might do the trick.  If so, then, of course the sand-glass should be applied while much colder than the targeted molten glass.

For the above applications of a powder or a sand, think of it this way: An hourglass with properly formulated sand dispenses, in a gravity-fed style, sand at a fixed rate.  Now, in your mind’s eye, place some constricting wire bristles right there at the top of the hour-glass throat.  If designed properly, the sand will NOT flow, except when the hourglass is shocked, shaken, or vibrated  (“Shaken, not stirred”, per Agent 007!).  So we could do the same, in a high-end grickle pen.  Archimedes-screw augurs feed the feedstock (sand) to a gravity-powered chamber.  The gravity-powered chamber has level sensors to turn the augurs on and off, to keep a constant gravity load (level of feedstock) imposed on the dispenser-throat.  The entire grickle pen is vibrated only when the product needs to be dispensed.  A suitable name for this apparatus is a “vibrating grickle pen”, then.  If this tool spreads the product too far and too wide, a “focusing funnel” may need to be applied (perhaps selectively, in place, or not in place) between the pen and the target.


Grickle Gun…  This item would be a mechanical or (probably more likely) pneumatically-powered low-powered gun, for shooting tiny grickle pellets at glass.  Such pellets would be formulated to be hard and strong.  It could perhaps be used artistically on molten glass, for artistic “splatter” or “explosion” effects (including the use of colored grickle pellets), but I see few other potential uses with liquid glass.  Where I do see a strong potential use, is for roughening up glass-wares (bottles, jars, etc.) after formation, but before annealing.  The pellets would roughen up the glass, AND, perhaps more importantly, embed some metal oxides (and-or other solid primers or fluxes) into (onto) the surface of the glass, in preparation for a cover layer of “grickle glass”, which all (base glass, primer-flux, usually-colored grickle glass) then goes to be annealed.  Grickle glass here would usually contain a lot of LionGlass, I would think, for the low melting point thereof.


Grickle-Blobbing Tool…  This item is AKA the grickle-blobber, and I consider it to be a PRIME tool for grickling, seriously!  It would have very little use in the float-glass world, beyond strange artistic uses, I would think.  In the glass-ware (solid not liquid target) world, I could see a lot of uses!

We’ve already touched on what is today called a draw-off syringe.  We beef it up here to create the grickle-blobber, which can draw off (pick up) thin (hot) glass for a refill, and apply it.  It is a bi-directional syringe, then, just like a pipette with a bulb, but designed for much higher temperatures, and for automation.  The plunger handle-end is specifically designed with a mechanical interface to robotic (or other-mechanical) grappling fingers, so that the robot may pick up, or dispense, liquid glass, and can not only grip the plunger, but also release it, free to spin.  Motors and cogs (or other methods) allow the robot to spin the body of the blobber, without spinning the plunger.  This reduces mechanical complexity, of course.  Parenthetically, this tool might also be loaded or re-loaded by a ladle, as opposed to using a draw-off (pipette-style) suck-off-type action.

Anyone familiar with glass-working will be thoroughly familiar with just HOW very thick (viscous) glass is, at any sort of sensible working temperature.  A “blob” of glass will form at the dispensing tip of this draw-off-syringe-like “grickle-blobber”.  At the dispensing end of this tool, there should most likely be an array of quite a few holes, not just one, to get the molten glass in and out more easily…  In the face of just how thick the molten glass is!  The body of this tool should probably include heating provisions, to heat the contained grickle, when needed, in a controlled manner.  Gas fired is possible, but electrically heated sounds better to me.  Getting power to the tool (while you spin it, especially) may be troublesome, but could be solved with flexible, spring-loaded, coiled power wires, wireless power transfer, carbon electrical contact power brushes, or some combination thereof.  A bit exotically, radio waves can even be used as a source of wireless power!

Now your robot (remote controlled by a human, or by AI) is free to spin the blob of glass dangling off of the tip of your tool, to keep it from falling off.  Just like twirling a table implement to keep the honey from dripping off, you see.  It is free to enlarge or contract the blob.  And, of course, it can lower the blob to contact the target, dispensing glass on contact.  Raise the blob to stop dispensing.  Add scissors and-or a “slop catcher”, perhaps, between the tool and the target, that can be engaged when no dripping is desired, and removed when dispensing.  It can reload on (usually colored) glass supplies, from “hot pots” or crucibles.  If multiple colors are needed, your tool can “spit out” the excess of one color of molten glass, back into the crucible, and pick up another color, from another “hot pot”.  Maybe spit out the mixed colors when doing that, in between the two colors, to a “slag heap” for later recycling us as scrap glass, AKA “cullet”.  Or provide a  grickle-blobber for each color!  Parenthetically, the “slop catcher”, if used, can periodically be dumped to the crucible, or to the slag heap, as is appropriate.

Now the next variation on the above, I’m not too sure about it, but will mention it in the name of completeness.  The grickle-blobber could carry a load of a high-melting-point glass, such as borosilicate glass, as a carrier only.  This would NOT be the grickle intended for the target!  The stiffer blob of borosilicate glass could then be dipped into a thinner grickle (especially LionGlass-based grickle, of course) as the load intended for dispensing to the target.  If the base-blob is large, large loads of grickle could be carried.  If liquid-grickle pens are used to pre-load a fairly large base-blob of borosilicate glass, with stripes of several colors of thin grickle, and THEN the base-blob is spun out onto the target, we could get some very artistic (“tie-dyed” style) looking results!  Intermixing of glass types (and resulting frequent trips to the slag heap) might be troublesome (to include the base-of-the-bulb borosilicate glass getting mixed into the grickle).  The full implications are not all clear to me.  But this tool and method seems to be very possible to me…


Robo-Grickle Scissors Tool…  This item is needed (glass-workers, glass-video viewers, and glass-TV-show-viewers will know) to cut off the dangling, viscous (thick) glass “drool” of tools like the grickle-blobber and the hot-glass gun.  Else the “glass drool” will mess everything up!


Grickle-Slobber-Pickup Tool…  This item isn’t needed for the grickle-blobber, which can “twist and turn” and pull back its own slobber, after it is cut with scissors.  Adding such “twist and turn” capabilities to the unwieldy hot-glass gun sounds prohibitive to me… And so then we need the grickle-slobber pickup tool, for that one special case!  Parenthetically at this point, I would add, it MIGHT be possible to shrink down the hot-glass gun in size, to the point that it can be used for fine art, or touch-up jobs, rather than “broadcast-spreading” a large layer of glass, and therefor deserve to sometimes be called a “grickle tool” in its smaller form, but somehow I doubt that this is practical…  But that’s just me!

As is appropriate, the grickle-slobber pickup tool may dump its gathered glass-slobber back into a crucible, or onto a “slag heap”.


Laser Grickle Tool…  This item can be used (along with video-camera-based visual inspection, monitored by humans and-or by AI) to spot bubbles in the glass, which might be by-products of various artistic measures and additives.  When spotted, a bubble may have some laser-heat targeted right above it, to “thin out” the thick liquid glass in that spot.  Then a short, sharp blast of the laser can punch a glass-hole, and “burst your glass bubble”, letting the bubble-gasses escape.  This might leave a pock-mark, which may be tolerable.  Pock-marks (laser marks) could be deliberately added for artistic effects, if desired.  Other laser uses may include who-knows-what, but might include, for example, adding excessive heat to a spot for “spot welding” of otherwise-incompatible (embedded?) materials.  Suppose we want to add 33 COE (borosilicate) colored glass-sand to 90 COE base glass, because we feel we just HAVE to have a certain bright color that we can’t get otherwise, AND the ribbon-flow will otherwise never reach the required high-enough heat to accommodate this.  A special laser treatment to selectively over-heat this area might be needed.  I don’t know if we can EVER (by adding foreign materials to add more materials flexibility for “compliance”. perhaps?) mix 33 COE and 90 COE glass this way, but it just MIGHT be possible, and PART of the “fix” might involve the use of lasers.


Generically, all of the above SIMPLE tools (excluding the hot-glass gun and the laser) could be called “molten glass applicators”, or dispensers, or dispenser-applicators!  Or lump them all together and call them “grickle tools”!  Suit yourself!  (One can also just dump molten glass out of a ladle, or drip it [as a VERY thick liquid] off of a honey-ladle-style globe-shape [bulb] with a handle on it, but those kinds of things are very, very well known in glass-working circles already).


Applying Hot Glass to Hot Glassware


As already mentioned, LionGlass (with a much-lower melting point compared to classical glass, which should NOT be confused with Classical Gas, see and ) could be applied as a “grickle” surface treatment to classical forms of glass.  I personally have OFTEN been annoyed by cheap glass items (drinking glasses, humming-bird feeders, etc.) where glass has been painted with acrylic or epoxy-based (or other?) paints.  Even if you sandblast the areas of the glass to be painted (which will cost extra money), before applying paint, give your painted glass some time in the sun and rain, or in the dishwasher, and the paint will wear off.  What if, instead, we painted the older (higher-melting-point) glass with molten LionGlass (or a blend of LionGlass, coloring agents, and additives) instead?  I highly suspect that such a method could provide results more durable than paint on glass.  This (LionGlass applied to other forms of glassware) is ONE of the reasons why I (above) described molten-glass applicator tools.  Note also in passing that it might be possible to apply LionGlass to cooling-down ceramics, for interesting results.  However, since MANY types and colors of glaze are already commonly used on ceramics, applying LionGlass here may not be of much added value.

            For forming glass bottles and other kinds of glassware, ask The Google, Which Knows All Things!  Here is ONE basic link that I found easily: says “Regardless of the process used, once the bottle has been completely formed, it is removed from the mold and transferred to the annealing lehr. The lehr reheats the bottes to a temperature of about 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit then gradually cools them to about 390F.“  1,050 F is 565 C.  Now the following is a bit speculative, but we (far above) have gone over the temperature-v/s-viscosity graph (or crudely put, the “melting point”) of LionGlass.  It should be possible to paint hot LionGlass (plus additives, especially coloring agents) onto the (harder, higher-melting-point) hot bottles or other glassware.  If the LionGlass “paint” is kept thin, applying this hotter paint to a cooler glassware piece will hopefully not crack the glassware from thermal shock.  If such cracking IS a problem, then partially re-heat the glassware up towards the desired 565 C (base glass) annealing point, take it back out of the kiln, and THEN apply the hot-glass paint, so that the temperature difference between the two (base glass and paint-glass) isn’t so large.

            There may be balancing acts in play, here.  Apply the paint-glass to a colder glass-piece risks cracking from thermal shock, but it reduces processing steps (is more affordable), and the excess heat of the glass-paint will quickly be heat-sunk into the base glass.  That is, the hot glass-paint should quickly cool down (and solidify), reducing the risks of having the hot-glass paint “running” in response to gravity.  Partly re-heating the glass vessel before applying hot-glass “paint” reduces the risks of cracking the glass-piece (from thermal shock), and may yield a better-bonded (“fused”) glass-to-glass bond, but increases the risks of “paint running”, and will most likely increase costs, especially if the work is done by humans.  The proposed grickle-blobbing tool may perhaps work well here for this application, for applying the grickle-paint.  However, it might NOT work so well, if we are highly dependent on rapid cooling of the applied grickle paint, and the grickle-blob is large.  This is because briefly, on contact with the base glass, the entire grickle-blob will be shedding heat into the base-glass, if my hopefully-sensible assumptions are all correct.

            Placing the glass-ware pieces tilted against gravity (better yet, flat) with respect to the glass-painted area during the annealing process would also help prevent “running” of the painted-on “grickle” glass layer.

            At this point, I should probably (in the name of completeness) add comments that glass-workers (and people like me, who have watched glassblowing on television!) will be quite familiar with.  For low-volume artistic products, humans can take the workpieces out of a kiln (or off of the glassblowing tool), and work the piece on a hot (or high-temperature-tolerant) work bench.  Then after the human-added work, put the artistic piece back in the “lehr”, for annealing and slow cooling.  And during that move, hope not to drop the piece because of the high heat exposure!  For higher-volume (more affordable) products, it might be best to keep the product in a kiln (or at least, in general, a hot environment), and do the work via automated tools, or robots.  The simpler tools (described here above) should certainly be amenable to direct human use.  A full-featured hot-glass gun may be too large, too hot, and-or too unwieldy for direct human uses, but I could be wrong.

            Now, for achieving a better (fused) bond between your painted (or otherwise applied) layer of “hot-glass paint” (AKA grickle) onto your base-glass piece, you may want to apply some chemical assistance, as a primer-layer, or into the glass-layers being fused together (base layer plus molten-glass “paint”), or both base plus “grickle” paint.  Sand-blasting is possible too, but I think that is too messy and expensive for this application.  The chemistry involved here is “over my head” in terms of me making optimal suggestions, so I will just “wing it” with what I’ve been able to find, in general terms.  I’ll not clutter this up with many links…  “Google” it for yourself, especially since this paper may be getting too long already!  However, below is what I think that I have learned!

Metal oxides (or more exotically, metal fluorides) make good “fluxes” for reducing the melting point of the base glass, adding inter-molecular bonds, and sometimes, other benefits.  Metals (for these oxides or fluorides) include lead, boron, lithium, and potassium.  These are the most commonly used (generally the best).  Sometimes also listed for this are sodium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and barium; these are less effective, and often cause the glass to become cloudy over time.

Now metal oxides are generally solids, and can be applied as a powder.  Power can be applied with brushes, but that is messy, and the powder can fall off of the “painted” object.  This is why the further-above “grickle gun” was described.  If using a grickle gun with grickle pellets, be sure to do this in a shielded area, protecting surrounding areas from flying fragments, and making provisions for gathering the grickle-pellet fragments for recycling.  We would be wise to add the powders (such as metal oxides) to a liquid, for painting purposes (we’re applying a “primer” grickle here, before applying the hot-glass “paint”, in case you’ve lost track).  From research much further above (see the “glass-associated materials” section), I think that prime candidates for such liquids are (or might contain) borax, boric acid, alkysilanes, or sodium silicate.  Alkysilanes in liquid form, for paint? says “Silanes are commonly used to apply coatings to surfaces or as an adhesion promoter”, and “Above 420 °C, silane decomposes into silicon and hydrogen  The first quote looks like we could use alkysilanes here, but the second (silane referring to a gas, not alkysilanes) looks a bit scary.  This is all speculative…  It may or may not work for us.  More research on my part wasn’t very fruitful, partly because I don’t want to pay for papers which may or may not tell me what I need to know.  If I want to apply some form of liquid silane compound as a primer, on hot glass, how hot can the hot glass get, before it won’t work?  How cool do I have to keep the silane-compound-containing liquid paint-primer, before it over-heats while I’m trying to apply it?  If any reader cares to chase this down further, start with a “pay walled” source here, perhaps  Synthesis and Properties of Some Alkylsilanes”.  But please do search here in this document for “silane” first, because I have more details in the ”palette” section here.

Another candidate liquid is sodium silicate in water.  This, however, outgasses when heated, which isn’t good for us here.  This again is speculative, but is perhaps a better choice than silane compounds.  Probably your BEST bet, though, is borax!  Borax in water for liquid grickle, or anhydrous borax in grickle pellets, should work.  See “borax” details elsewhere in this document… Along with calcium bicarbonate and hydrates of sodium carbonate.  I have little else to add, with any confidence.

Other ingredients of the “primer” paint might include some “grit” in the form of diatomaceous earth, perlite (probably in its already-expanded form, but perhaps pre-expanded), bits of anhydrous borax, boric acid, pumice, silica gel, or aluminum silicate.  I am still speculating wildly (perhaps you could already tell!).  If adding “gritty” ingredients is wise here, it is probably only in small amounts.

If the “primer” is a liquid, the liquid won’t tolerate a very hot (kiln) environment.  An open-topped refrigerated bowl or “ice box” will be a good idea for holding a liquid primer, AKA “grickle”.  Search this document for “ice box” for details on that.  Now your human worker, machine, or robot can reload his-her-its brushes from a “cool” bowl!  As previously remarked, hollow-handled brushes can also be designed to dispense force-fed fluids.

The glassware may need to sit “at heat” (or be further heated) between primer application and paint-glass application, to drive water out of the primer.  If water is used, in the primer, this seems to be a “sure bet” to me!

After all of that song and dance about applying a “primer” layer, let me remind you, it may be optional!  If we DO use a primer, we want to “paint” the base glass afterwards (or apply by some other method) with hot molten LionGlass, or with a LionGlass-based mix.  Also note that, if the “thin” LionGlass isn’t viscous enough, we could thicken it up with small bits of ceramic paper (probably not a good choice with such paper as it is formulated today), ceramic fibers, carbon fibers, glass fibers, rockwool fibers (perhaps with silanization added to the fibers), or ceramic-gaskets materials.  Or apply such thickening agents immediately after the liquid LionGlass-based mix, as a surface treatment.  “Thickening” the LionGlass paint here, may be needed to prevent it from “running”.  See further above here, and search for “ceramic paper” for details or sources of such materials.  Such materials may also supply internal slop or “compliance” to guard against different CTEs (thermal expansion characteristics) of the different types of glass.  Adding bits of diatomaceous earth, already-expanded (or being-expanded-as-it-is-applied) perlite, pumice, silica gel, and-or exotic materials here (into the hot LionGlass “paint”) may also make sense for the exact same “compliance” reasons, and-or for other reasons.  Or we could simply tolerate a bit of “surface crackling” when the COE (Coefficient Of Expansion) of the base-layer glass and “painted onto” layer of glass mismatch each other.

Under the “tools” section of this document, a tool called a “grickle-blobber” is described.  It might be a useful tool for applying hot LionGlass “paint” to solid (but hot) glassware, here.  I think that, of all the “grickle” tools described here, this will be your best bet for this application.

Ceramic paper could perhaps (with appropriate cut-outs of course) be used as stencils for applying “primer”, primer plus hot molten glass, or hot molten glass alone.  Remove the stencil at any appropriate step in the process.

With all of the (often irreducible?) complexities described above, glass-on-glass decorations (or labels) sound like high-dollar features to me, and unlikely to be applied to common (disposable) bottles for drinks and for foods.  Glass-on-glass would be suitable for hummingbird feeders, drinking vessels, carafes, serving bowls, and artworks, for examples.  Only in our wildest dream could we use glass-on-glass, on bottles and jars, to place fine-print (but legible) lists of ingredients and nutrients!  Please prove me wrong!

One the other hand, speculatively, maybe a few very simple marks (think of branding marks such as the “Nike Swoosh”) could be imparted affordably to disposable pieces of glassware by automated (robot-wielded) tools such as the “grickle lipstick applicator” tool or the “grickle mechanical pencil”.  That is, IF the grickle media (lipstick or pencil-core form) can be formulated (especially to impart color) to hot glassware, at the pre-annealing stage.  It just MIGHT be possible!


LionGlass and Float-glass


Float-glass resides in a world significantly different from glassware (bottles and jars, etc.).  Many of my previous remarks here still apply, but since we’re in a flat environment, “gravity is our friend” now, a molten-glass layer won’t run off due to gravity, and taking pieces out (of a kiln) for human hand-working becomes far less plausible here.  We’re in an automated environment now, pretty firmly.  Fluxes (or “primer-paints” as described above) between layers of fused glass may make a lot less sense here, not only because “gravity flow” of an added layer is no longer a concern, but also because we presumably can easily afford higher annealing temperatures and longer annealing and cooling-down timeframes, in a large-scale automated float-glass environment.

I hope that I’m not being too terribly disorganized here, but I’ll just start spitting out ideas associated with LionGlass, floated glass, and other possibilities whereby some forms of glass could replace ceramic tiles.  Currently-existing flat glass (glass panes) and ceramic tiles are fairly cost competitive with each other, especially at the lower-costs end (says my research, but this paper is already getting long, so do your own research, please).  However, ceramics are generally fired at much higher temperatures (except for raku-pottery-style ceramics, which isn’t suitable for use, alone, as floor tiles, but can be used as wall tiles) than glass, so glass tiles (especially at yet-lower temperatures as facilitated by LionGlass) may drop costs even more, and help reduce carbon emissions (through reduced heating costs).


Three-layered crackle glass (as described above, here, associated with,glass%20in%20a%20busy%20environment ) could perhaps be created using LionGlass (or any other suitable type of glass, balancing costs and other considerations), and “floated out” (called a “ribbon” of floated glass) onto the tin bath, or other molten-metal bath, forming a layer of molten glass.  This is now our base layer.  Onto the top of this freshly-poured base layer of glass, after it travels a small distance down the lehr-bath, we drop onto the top of it, sheets or panes of much-colder solid glass (of any suitable glass-type).  This glass will crack from thermal shock.  Next, onto the top of the cracked glass, we dispense (by any suitable means, such as automated hot-glass guns) a layer of hot suitable glass, especially LionGlass (because it has a low melting point).  The cracked-glass layer won’t allow much (if any) LionGlass to penetrate far downwards, and, if materials and handling choices are all formulated appropriately, the glass, broken-glass, glass 3-layer sandwich can travel down the lehr-bath further, for annealing, cooling, being pulled off, and being cut and diced in the conventional manner.  Optimized glass densities and thermal expansion coefficients, as well as optimal temperatures, should make this process work.  For one thing, even if the broken-glass layer is slightly less dense than the covering LionGlass layer, the thick viscosity of a never-overheated LionGlass layer should prevent the broken-glass shards from rising to the top.  Similarly, the viscosity of the lowest layer of glass (even if less dense that the broken-glass layer) will be way too thick to sneak upwards through tiny cracks in the broken-glass layer.  Allakhazam, I give you hopefully-affordable 3-layer crackle glass!

Upon further thought, we may not be “home free” with the above approach, especially if we’re concerned about the “safety glass” aspects of crackle glass.  I’m really not sure how exactly it works.  Will our middle cracked layer fuse back together too much during the annealing process, and will that hurt any of our objectives?  If so, we might need to add a little bit more to our process, as follows: After the middle layer cracks, force the fragments apart just a wee tad…  Induce some small waves onto the liquid tin bath, and be sure to leave (maybe 2 inches on each side of the ribbon-limits) some spare room for the fragments to drift apart from one another.  Don’t make the cracked middle layer too wide, that is!  And if the induced “storms at sea” in our tin bath don’t work well, maybe add some close-in blasts of gas, or add light touches with brushes or other tools.  Adding separation distance may be enough for us, perhaps.

Or it might not be enough!  Maybe we need to add some fine-grain sand or other material to prop the cracks open, in a manner similar to injecting sand into cracks in the rock, in oil-and-gas fracking.  Use brushes and-or gas-blasts and-or tin-bath waves to add some mix of the usual suspects for “grit” into these cracks…  Ground-up anhydrous borax, diatomaceous earth, perlite (probably in its already-expanded form, but perhaps pre-expanded), pumice, silica gel, or aluminum silicate are some of the usual suspects here, along with finely ground glass.  Finely ground COLORED glass might look good here!  It would be best to lightly brush the grit off of the tops of the glass fragments, I think.  Brush them towards the margins of the ribbon, where the resulting glass will be trimmed off to become “cullet” for recycling, anyway.

See “embedded wires or mesh” or “Georgian wired glass” here in this paper for more details, but we could easily ALSO add wire mesh to the above-described crackle glass, perhaps, for additional safety.  After the base layer plus cracked layer is all finished up and ready to go, sitting there on your tin bath, apply wire mesh on top of these two layers.  And only after THAT, add your third layer of glass to be annealed, on top (with the top layer perhaps containing LionGlass).  Then, of course, anneal, cool, and process as usual.

Not to insult your intelligence, Dear Reader, but to make sure to state the obvious, at one point, at least…  All these monkeyshines to be carried out over the top of the hot tin bath?  To include more ideas to follow?  No, no humans should be assigned to these jobs!  Too much heat in there, and it is a nitrogen-hydrogen environment!  All of the tasks should be performed by machines or robots!  Smaller tools (grickle tools) can scoot back and forth, mounted on rails across the bath, with these rails (“rails on rails”!) mounted on rails themselves, travelling back and forth along the length of the bath.  Think of X-Y pen-and-paper plotting or printing machines, for example.  The cross-bath glass-decorating (or other processing or glass-pane-adding) movements of robots or machines should be called the “Y” dimension, and alongside-the-bath movements should be called the “X” dimension.  In the “X” dimension, the tools-on-rails-on-rails movement need merely pause or stop, to back-track in the “X” dimension, with respect to the constantly-flowing glass-ribbon flowing underneath the tools.


I never promised you a glass-rose garden!  Yes, by now it should be starting to become clear that many ideas that I propose here won’t come to fruition easily or quickly.  Float-glass machines operate constantly, for many years.  It would be prohibitively expensive to slow one down, or stop it, for the purposes here described.  But as Einstein told us, speed is relative!  Keep your tools and adding-materials operation up with the flow-rate of the glass ribbon, in the “X” direction, and maybe it will work!  However, what do you do when the tools reach their maximum travel distance in the “X” direction?  One has to either A) pick up the tools and their support, and move them back to “X minimum”, to re-start their journey, skipping your adding-materials-to-the-glass-ribbon activities (producing plain glass for the interim), or B) Do the exact same thing, just scooting the tools (and their supports) backwards along the rails at the maximum safe speed that can be attained.  Maybe even C), keep spare tools and tool-beds of each kind, and drop them in at “X minimum” and pull them off at “X maximum”, leaving no glass-coverage gaps.  “A” sounds absurd!  Go with “B”!  “C” sounds expensive, and likely to lengthen your already-long glass factory, which typically is about ½ kilometer long.  If you don’t mind the extra expense of a longer line, maybe some sort of “D” choice might be, each set of specialized tools (for specialized purposes) spans 1.5 or 2 times the “X” dimension that you’d normally expect for it to take up.  Now your specialized tools have more “scoot room” to scoot back and forth, for a safety margin, or for new versions of a process or glass product.  This would also cut down on (or eliminate) the need for clear-glass-in-the-interim areas, to allow X-dimension tool-scooting time.  Trade tool-time flexibility for extra space and factory-length expenses, that is.

In any case, it’s probably clear that the add-on activities described here (adding layers and-or decorations to the ribbon as it flows) will require wider, longer, and most likely taller float-glass factories, which cost $150 to $200 million today.  It is possible, but prohibitively expensive, to “grow” float-glass factories in size, especially since much (most?) of the added volume will still need to be in a nitrogen and hydrogen atmosphere.  I’ll keep right on describing my ideas anyway!


Back to three-layered crackle glass…

An alternative to adding the top-most layer in a molten form (dispensed by an array of hot-glass guns) is to add glass-sand via an array of “vibrating grickle pens”, or other method of evenly adding a layer of glass-sand.  Applying the top layer of glass as a hot liquid may splash and splatter, and disturb the underlying cracked glass too much, but it will require less heat to get this top layer molten and smooth, before annealing.  The top layer being glass-sand will be vice versa…  Applying the sand could be a more gentle operation, but will require more heat before annealing.  More heat from above can be supplied by (for examples) propane torches, or (probably a much better idea) electrically powered heater elements.  The latter, here, won’t pollute your nitrogen-hydrogen environment.

Yet another alternative is to lower an entire sheet of solid glass onto this topmost layer, and let it “slump” in the heat.  If this glass is too thin, it won’t be able to support its own weight (it won’t be strong enough to do that).  If it is heavy, it is expensive, and the product will be heavy.  This is if it is supported only around the edges (by mechanical grippers), as it is lowered.  It COULD be lowered down by suction (vacuum) grippers by an array of such grippers, spread across the whole large pane of glass.  Release the vacuum, and the glass is released.  This array-of-suction-cups method would distribute the loading of the glass plate’s weight, you see.  Formulating heat-tolerant yet effective suction grippers?  Good luck!  It just MIGHT be possible, though!

Well, please excuse my skepticism!  High-temperature-tolerant suction grippers are already here!  See the following links:  and  and and  and !  Please note that these suction cups may not be quite totally up to speed for the high heat that we have to deal with.  SHORT time frames of excessive heat MIGHT be tolerable, and we MIGHT help by blowing at-least-slightly-cooled gasses upon these suction cups, during the deployment process, to alleviate potential associated heat-induced problems.  Better yet, circulate “cooling fluids” (the general term) through metal back-shells to these vacuum-powered sucker-cups.  I hereby dub this scheme to be the “octopus glass-grabber”, for obvious reasons.

Yet ANOTHER alternative is to lower the topmost layer of solid glass in smaller sections, gripping them by their edges, and avoiding the breaking-under-their-own-weight problem by simply making them smaller.  Deposit many of them.  Segment them across the ribbon (several discontinuities across the ribbon) rather than along the length of the ribbon, since many-many supporting mechanical fingers, grippers, or supports can be arrayed along the length of the solid glass, avoiding the breaking-under-its-own weight problem, with narrow, long strips of glass.  Now the only disadvantage (that I can see) is that, when the crackled glass product is cut up for use, the long stripes under the top-layer discontinuities just MIGHT need to be discarded, depending on various variables (does this top layer fuse edge-to-edge before or during annealing, for example).

Now I have yet another idea to describe, which results from asking, “What if we didn’t want any big, fancy hot-glass guns or ladles out there dispensing molten top-layer glass for the three-layered crackle glass?  Thus-dispensed molten glass might splatter around, re-arrange the targeted fragments of broken middle-layer glass, and just generally make a mess (as was already mentioned).  AND you don’t like any of the above-listed alternate methods?  Couldn’t we come up with something fairly simple and gentle?”  The answer is (possibly) YES!  See below…


The Large Thumped-Brush Sand Dispenser Method works (or could perhaps work) as follows.  We build a stiff-brushed, large brush, probably with wire bristles.  It is large enough to span the entire width of the ribbon, and the bristles are perhaps on the order of only ½ inch long.  More like 1/4th of an inch, for the specific use being discussed right now.  Arbitrarily, we will call the brush-back side “down”, and the bristle side “up”.  Then we load the entire brush (while cold and held “upright”) with powdered LionGlass (plus perhaps some additives).  We make sure that the LionGlass sand or powder (perhaps even raw LionGlass ingredients, thoroughly mixed, or maybe some other form of glass-sand, or raw ingredients thereof) is even distributed across the brush, settled in perhaps by vibrating the whole brush, and-or, with other brushes.  Brush the loaded brush!

Next…  This may be optional, if the sand loaded into the brush is made to be a bit “sticky” somehow, but I do recommend the following step… A THIN retaining layer of formulated liquid (perhaps mostly hydrated borax and a tiny bit of “water glass”, maybe boric acid, and maybe, but likely not, some silane compounds… Is applied (likely sprayed) onto the loaded brush.  The sealant may even some contain tiny fibers of some suitable type(s)… Glass, ceramic, rock-wool, or carbon fibers, for added strength when dried out..  The whole brush-plus-contents is then heated and dried.  The formulated thin “sealant” layer will help prevent our sand-load from falling out, before we want it to fall out.  Be sure to COE-match your “sealant” layer, here, to the glass-type that you’re working with!  See notes under “borax” in the “materials palette” section!  Also see calcium bicarbonate and hydrates of sodium carbonate.

The next step is an optional test step.  Turn the loaded, dried brush upside down (bristles down), and give it a few VERY GENTLE test thumps.  If nothing falls out, you’re good to go!  If patches of content fall out, turn the brush right-side-up, patch the voids, and repeat the test process.

The next step is to CAREFULLY (gently) maneuver the upside-down loaded giant brush out over the hot tin bath, over the top of the first two layers of glass, and make SURE the brush is exactly where it belongs.  Leave a few fractions of an inch between the brush and the top of the target.  Now activate a bunch of mechanized hammers (or vibration-inducing rotating mechanisms with off-center masses), and THUMP-THUMP-THUMP the heck out of the rear of the brush!  All of the sand “load” should fall out.  If not, deploy robotic sand-dispensing vibrating grickle tools (with selectively-timed vibrating sand-dispensing) to repair the voids in the top layer of glass-sand.  Search this document for “vibrating grickle pen” for a more detailed description of just the right tool for this particular job.  Heat and anneal the glass as normal, or mostly as normal.  Depending on what is in that top layer of glass-sand, the fusing temperature of the glass-sand may be higher than the normal glass-annealing temperature, in this float-glass process.  That will mean, add extra heat, before annealing!  The borax (and-or other compounds) that was most likely needed here as a precaution again the sand prematurely falling out?  Borax is a borosilicate-glass ingredient, which fuses at a higher temperature than most other glasses.  So, if very much borax is needed here, that will provide an additional reason why more heat needs to be added, after the sand-dumping operation.  (Gently blowing) propane torches from above, or electrically-generated heat, should do the trick.  When done with all of this, clean your giant brush for the next cycle, of course.

Note that the (anhydrous by the time it is applied) borax in the protective (sand-retaining) layer will end up sandwiched between the crackled layer and the top layer of glass.  This is likely to be a good thing, since borax can act as a fusing agent, or flux.  If this isn’t sufficient here for this particular need, the sand-sealant layer on the loaded brush may need some other ingredients added to it.  Maybe some metal oxides or fluorides.  Perhaps additives such as water-glass, calcium bicarbonate, hydrates of sodium carbonate, various fibers, and-or silane compounds, but these latter ones (I think!) are more-so associated with other needs or objectives.

OK, a few more added thoughts here:  This giant sand-loaded brush is an important tool, and we’ll use it again (just a wee tad further below, here) for colored-images sand-painting, possibly with TWO layers of sand (color layer plus protective clear layer).  Or maybe just a colored layer.  In any case, we need some good, memorable, intuitive terminology here!  The sand-load in the brush, and inverted and thumped down onto the molten-glass ribbon is hereby named the “sand-apple upside-down cake”!  And the sand-retaining layer (specially formulated) is the icing on the cake!

So then my other thoughts to be added here are about the formulated icing.  The above formulation (icing applied wet) is perhaps workable, but I think that we could do better.  Icing applied wet requires more water, which has to be driven right back out, compared to the following:  Apply your icing in the form of finely ground anhydrous borax (plus other dry ingredients, such as calcium carbonate and sodium carbonate).  Next, apply (presumably small) amounts of tiny and small-diameter ceramic, glass, carbon, or rockwool fibers, if this idea is wise.  Fibers should be applied dry as well.  Some or all of the fibers (if used here at all) might possibly be “silanized”, in a manner similar to what was described here:  (this is a repeated link in this paper).

Anyway, it might be best to apply your icing dry, and then spray or mist it with water, before heating it to re-solidify the powdered borax into a thin solid sand-retaining “icing” layer.  This conserves water and therefor also drying-and-curing heat.

Selecting the (large brush for sand-apple upside-down cake) brush-bristles very carefully, here, is paramount.  The brushes will need to withstand the heat of curing (drying) the water out of the borax icing, and brief exposure to more heat during the sand-dumping operation.  The bristles will also need to cling to the cake “icing” long enough to retain the sand, but NOT cling so tightly as to never release the sand, when the brush is “thumped”.  So adhesion to the bristles (as well as icing thickness and strength) needs to be carefully adjusted.  Bristles spacing matters, as well.  This whole idea could be made to work…  Or not!  I’d like to see someone try it, at least, for sure!

If it can’t be made to work, what other choices are there?  Excessively strong icing, and dump-able bristles, that can be molten into the glass?  Such bristles would somehow need to be released from the brush-back, at the correct time.  On this one, I am frankly in too deep for me!

I don’t want to set myself up as THE grickle-grammar-and-usage NAZI, but I don’t think that the giant sand-loaded get-thumped-upside-down brush should be called a grickle tool.  This brush is a VERY broad brush tool, for dispensing an entire layer of glass-sand, and, in my mind at least, grickle tools are smaller tools, for more-selective applications.  The “grickle” term isn’t for any kind of tool that applies (or can apply)  an entire layer of glass or glass-sand, that is.


For Creating Colored-Images Float Glass, we could be creating “sand paintings” on glass, or “fake stained glass” with real colored-glass fragments (but with the metal solder, usually mostly lead, between the glass pieces, replaced by dark glass), or art glass with “misc.” inclusions or additives.  Or with small artistic “cookies” added on top of the glass (or at least partially slumped or fused in, sinking down into the base-layer glass), which I will define later (below).  Such types of glass (now just listed) could be used as window glass (in which case we’d usually want to go light on the colors, more transparent and less opaque), or as floor tiles, or as wall tiles, and more.  With tiles and other artistic applications, we may not care much at all, about transparent versus opaque.  For floor tiles only, we may want to add some friction, to prevent “slippery when wet”!  For the latter case, apply (at an appropriate spot in the melting-and-annealing process) some “grit” to the exposed surface.  Again, the usual suspects (for grit) are ground-up anhydrous borax, diatomaceous earth, perlite (probably in its already-expanded form, but perhaps pre-expanded), pumice, silica gel, sand, or aluminum silicate.  A generic comment (about glass tiles) that I have seen is, take SOME precautions against looking right through the glass, and seeing the floor-or-wall glue (or grout, mortar) stripes behind the glass, for mounting the tiles!  That looks ugly!  If the glass tiles are fairly clear, sandblast them on the rear side, and-or paint them, cover them in a thin layer of cementitious product, or glue some sort of covering on the rear, before selling the product.  We don’t want to see rows of tile-glue or grout, through the glass!


For Creating Sand-Painted Float Glass, as a specific type of image for glass window panes or tiles, this is a process that (optimally, hopefully) uses the just-now above-described “large thumped-brush sand dispenser”, so we’ll cover it first.  For alternates (to thumping your large brush) and lots of agonizing over all of that. see further above, under the Three-layered crackle glass heading.

While it is still fresh in our minds, let’s go over the large-brush thumping method, for colored images!  Here, we do the same things as were listed above, except the giant brush-bristles will perhaps be longer (maybe ½ inch total) to carry TWO layers of sand (plus additives maybe).

The bottom layer (when loading the brush; the TOP layer after being applied to the base glass) will simply be a clear-glass formulation (perhaps mostly LionGlass), to protect the colored-glass middle layer.  It is possible, actually, that this layer isn’t needed, in which case…  Skip it!  And use shorter bristles on the brush, for the colored-glass-sand surface layer only!!

As I understand it, certain colors (green and brown, for examples) are easy to produce with soda-lime glass, often with metal oxide additives.  Other (and often brighter) colors are best obtained in borosilicate glass, often with metal additives.  If using colored glass-sand here, covering the borosilicate colored-sand layer (in our sand-apple upside-down cake when inverted and dumped onto the base glass) may be especially important, if we want to NOT raise the annealing temperate (of the overall product) very high.  In this case, we can get away with merely “sintering”, or just “partially sintering” the brighter-colored borosilicate glasses, in our palette, that end up in the middle of our final 3-layered glass, and the top or cap-off layer (LionGlass based for low melting point?) will keep the partially sintered (or even still just remaining in the glass-sand state) encapsulated, so that it won’t fall out of our “sand-painting glass”, or “fake stained glass”.  COE (Coefficient Of Expansion) and associated cracking concerns may entirely prohibit mixing glass-types here, though, as I have just proposed above.  Find a fix if it is possible to do so, please!

The “icing” on our sand-apple upside-down cake?  The specially formulated layer, to keep the sands from falling out of our large to-be-thumped brush?  It may not be strong enough to contain TWO layers of sand (colored sand plus encapsulating “top” layer of the finished product).  It might just barely be able to carry ONE layer (the colored layer) at once.  If this is the case, keep the colored layer thin, of course, and apply that layer all by itself.  Apply the clear (sealing, encapsulating) layer in another application of the large sand-carrying “thumped brush”… OR apply the clear layer (as sand) with a “vibrating grickle pen”, or other method or application tool.  Suggestion:  Research how agricultural implements apply evenly distributed granular fertilizers, which resemble sand.  Apply entire sheets of glass, as previously described, for example, is another option.

Now it is entirely possible that the whole sand-apple upside-down cake (and large thumped brush) idea is implausible, or even impossible.  Formulating the bristles and bristle-grabbing “icing” layer to be JUST right, just strong enough but not too strong, might be too tricky!  The R&D costs for this might be prohibitive!  In that case, “drop back and punt”, and consider the following (further below) alternatives, now that we are considering the full implications of a coloring layer, unlike the “3-layer crackled glass” section further up.  Another (probably quite serious) problem with the sand-apple upside-down cake is that if the “icing” contains too much borax (whatever “too much” may be), the “COE” (Coefficient Of Expansion) of the glass, at that layer, will be disturbed.  Now we’ll get cracking, unless we’re using a COE-of-the-base-layer type of glass plus glass-sand, that will solve this problem.  Or some other solution can be found!  As usual, I’ll just keep right on speculating wildly!  But do please look at “borax” under the “materials palette” section of this paper here, along with calcium bicarbonate and hydrates of sodium carbonate, etc., before giving up all hope!

Drop the thumped-brush (etc.) idea and consider breaking your sand-paintings down to create smaller, individual paintings, and exclude the idea of GIANT images, such as ones that straddle the entire width of the ribbon.  Paint the sand-paintings (by human hands or by machines or robots) onto SMALLER solid panes of glass.  Use a glue (containing water-glass, and-or water and borax, etc.) to hold the glass-sand, lest it get jostled off of the glass during processing and placement.  Formulate your glue to avoid COE-mismatches-the-glass problems, and-or, apply it to be very thin.  Cure (heat, dry) the glue plus sand.  Pre-heat the (still SOLID!) assemblies (to avoid thermal shock) before dropping them onto the float glass), using mechanical edge-grippers (“fingers”).  IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), a few cracks, from thermal shock, should be tolerable, especially if most of the cracks re-fuse together later, or the slightly-defective “seconds” of production runs can be sold at a profit, anyway.  After placement, optionally, optically inspect the placement results for defects (deep gripper “finger” marks for example), and repair defects using the “vibrating grickle pen”.  Where one sand-painting pane meets another, on the ribbon, cut and discard the border areas (this is an unavoidable price of this method, it seems to me).

Yet another idea is to use the “octopus glass-grabber”, which allows one to use the entire width of the ribbon (minus margins) to create very LARGE sand-painting images.  As immediately above, humans, robots, or other machines lay down different areas of different colors of sand, on top of glass-compatible glue, and the giant pane of glass (plus glue and glass-sands).  Then the assembly is heated and cured, pre-heated, dropped onto the ribbon, etc.  The one difference here is that one needs to place glass-grabbing (“octopus”) suckers ahead of time, onto this artwork, before the sand-painting is applied.  Such sucker-locations should be strategically selected, and repaired (via vibrating grickle-pen as usual) after placement.  Frankly, if I was shelling out the R&D money, I’d pick this “racehorse at the tracks” before I would select the large-inverted-brush method!  But yes, after all of this, one would probably be best off, also applying a clear protective layer of glass, by some method or another…  Especially if the applied sand-glass includes ground-up borosilicate colored glasses, with their higher melting points, and the ribbon-annealing temperature is set down low.  So what if the sand never thoroughly melts, or even gets sintered, so long as it is encapsulated, and can’t fall out?

Yet another alternative for creating large colored-sand art, and then dumping it onto the ribbon of glass, would be to arrange colored glass-sands onto the top of a base layer of sand (“sand casting”, look it up), then dump molten glass on top of it (How would one keep the glass-dumping operation from disturbing the colored sands pattern?  I don’t know.), and let the liquid glass ooze down into the cracks between the colored sands.  Cool the product slowly, remove the colored-sand art from the junk-sand sand-bed, and clean it up.  It sounds messy to me!  Perhaps the sand-bed could be replaced by a mold-box lined with “kiln wash” and-or suitable ceramic paper, that doesn’t bond to molten glass.

(Back, now, to the sand-apple upside-down cake).  The colored-glass-sand layer, in either case (protected or not protected by a clear-glass layer) is an artistic arrangement of different colors of glass, crunched down into sand, and then settled into the giant brush, appropriate colors to appropriate spots.  Then (just as previously described in the case of the crackled glass), it is covered with a thin cover layer of a liquid specially-formulated solution, heated, dried, inverted, and “thumped” onto the base layer of glass.  And repaired (if needed, at voids) by selectively-vibrating sand-loaded smaller grickle tools.  In this case, unlike the previously listed case (3-layer crackled glass), there is no need to induce waves in the hot-tin bath, nor to apply “grit” in cracks (there are no cracks), nor to brush the grit around.  Otherwise, this version of sand-painting is much like the case where we applied a clear-glass top layer to the 3-layer crackle glass.  These, then, are two fairly-much-different uses for the “Large Thumped-Brush Sand Dispenser Method” as described above, then.

Dear Reader, I’m sorry for this mess, but… Please bless this mess!  However colored-glass sand may be applied, the following comments may apply!  “Vibrating grickle pen” methods of broad-based applications, or selective-repair applications, may threaten to blur boundaries between different colors of sand.  Sometimes this is OK.  Sometimes it is not, and we want sharp boundaries!  If the latter is the case, then, between pen and target, we’ll want to deploy a shield or shields.  The artist (remote-controlling human, or robot, or machine) may need straight shields, curved shields, pointed shields, etc.  Or small “templates” or “masks”, if you will, in addition to sand-focusing “funnels” for sharp lines…  All selectively applied or not applied, between sand-pen and target.  “Steer” your sand to your target, selectively, is the general idea.  Add or subtract complexity at will, and be sure to charge your customers accordingly!  Or donate generously to your customers, giving more than you get in return…  Suit yourself!  (I’m not your boss, and don’t really want to be.)

Another method of attaining sharp boundaries between different colors of applied glass-sand may be the “barrier method”.  I have used this myself, in art compositions of different colors of wet concrete, where I used vinyl or thick (stiff) plastic as the barrier, and yanked the barrier out rapidly, to tap into the inertia of the separated colors of concrete…  Or slowly, while tamping down selectively on the nearby areas of being-separated colors of concrete.  In the glass world, perhaps we’d need to apply a thin layer of isolating clear (or white) glass-sand to the surface of the being-decorated molten base glass layer (to prevent “tarring” of the edge of the barrier), apply the barrier, apply the colored glass-sands, and then yank out the barrier.  Here, the barrier could be metallic, or any other (hopefully low-friction, non-sticky, non-clingy) high-temperature-tolerant material.  Vibrating the barrier as you remove it, will perhaps alleviate the sand-clinging problem.  In this case, the applied barrier will need to be tall enough to allow it to be gripped, and then removed.

The barriers could also be left embedded in the sand (leave it there to be molten and-or annealed, and hope that it is dissolved into the glass, and that it mostly disappears into the glass; such that it won’t be very visible afterwards).  It might be composed of the usual suspects…  Glass fibers, rockwool, fine metal, or carbon fibers (fiber or wire mesh), coated with silane compounds, borax, and-or “water-glass”, “grit” bulk filler, and-or other substances.  In this case, we want this barrier to be little if any taller than the sand-layer being dumped.  We don’t want the barrier to leave visible marks or scars (in the final product) as the excessively tall wall or barrier crumples or topples down in the heat, but we still want it to separate different colors of sand.  We may want the grickle-tool (or other tool) sand-depositor to dump (perhaps with the assistance of a sand-flow-focusing funnel) the sand into a heap (or thick ridge-line) some distance removed from the barrier, and then brush the sand gently towards the barrier.  This would prevent sand grains from bouncing and “jumping the fence”, hopefully.

Such a barrier could even be placed into a large “thumped-brush”, in the “sand-apple upside-down cake” method, for keeping clean lines between the colors.  The barrier is then “dumped” along with the sands-load, and is incorporated into the glass.  A melts-into-the-glass barrier can be compared to “dissolving stitches” in surgery, for an intuitive understanding.  Or the barrier might NOT melt into the glass, but simply stay there!  Many artists (in 2-dimensional forms of art) add dark lines between different-colored areas, to highlight the color boundaries.  The same thing MIGHT be done in flat art-glass, using, say, thin strips of Kovar.  Kovar is suitable for borosilicate glass, for COE (Coefficient Of Expansion) concerns.  Other types of metals or alloys might be formulated to match other “COEs” in other glass-types.

Depending on what method is used to apply a clear cover layer (if any is applied, over the colored layer), it may be necessary to anneal (even fuse) the base plus color layers, then cool them back down, before applying the clear cover layer...  And then re-heating the whole mess once again!  This might be needed to prevent the cover layer application process from damaging the color layer.  Clearly, we want to avoid the extra time, trouble, and expense, here, if at all possible!

Next, we’ll want to consider dropping fine-resolution glass (or other) suitable art (often in “relief” or semi-3-dimensional) onto the top of the molten glass, or onto the top of molten glass, plus glass-sand.  This is (as previously mentioned) what I will call a “cookie”. 

If the cookie is applied AFTER the colored sand is applied, the bonding between the cookie and the base layer will be hampered, or will require more heat for bonding or fusing.  If the cookie is applied BEFORE the colored sand is applied, it would be wise to brush stray sand off of the cookie before annealing, and-or, before adding a “sealing” layer of glass or sand.  In any case, adding a SOLID (not sand) layer of clear sealing glass over the top of a non-counter-sunk or pushed-in cookie (if the cookie “pops out” too much) might barely be tolerable if the top layer “slumps” enough to accommodate it.  CLEARLY here (sly joke implied), caution is advised!


“Cookies” and Hobby Notes Follow…  There could be MANY kinds of “cookies” here, and I’ll try to NOT go on and on too terribly long here!  As implied above, these are higher-resolution smaller glass feature (focal) pieces of art.  We might sand-paint and grickle-paint grass (plus mountains, sky, clouds, and blue skies in the background), for example, and then place “cookie” cows or other animals on top of the grass.  I’ll occasionally digress a wee tad, into other hobby and personal-hobby notes, along the way…

After having researched the glass-hobbies world, I must start out by emphasizing “COE of the glass-types compatibility”.  It seems that “COE” (Coefficient Of Expansion) is really the same thing as “CTE” (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion”).  The glass-working world uses COE while the engineering world uses CTE.  So now I have to try to recall to use COE here, and not CTE.

In any case, mismatching your COE of different glass types very quickly leads to cracking, instead of nice, smooth glass-to-glass fusing.  This problem is so bad that many glass-workers or hobbyists will stick to only ONE supplier of (for example) COE 90 glass, for fear of one glass-manufacturer’s “COE 90” mismatching that of another.  This problem may invalidate MUCH of my wild speculations throughout much of the above paper…  But I’ll leave my speculations in place, in case someone will be inspired to somehow fix this problem, in at least a few cases, or otherwise gain value from the above, in general!


Here’s what I think that I have learned; Note that “COE” here is with respect to degrees “C” and not “F”.


120 COE (Lead-Oxide-Containing Satake): Has a low melting point.  Not as commonly used as some other types.


113 COE (NON-Lead-Oxide-Containing Satake; Soda-Lime only):  Not as commonly used as some other types.


108 COE (Schott clear): Used for paperweights, and little else.


104 COE: Used in lampwork and beadmaking, but less available than 96 and 90.  Also called effetre glass, formerly called moretti glass.


96 COE: Easy to cut, and available in a wide range of colors and blends.  AKA “Spectrum” glass.


90 COE: Very widely used and available in a variety of colors and blends.  AKA “Bullseye” glass.


84 to 87 COE range (not very well controlled typically) is the “COE number” for float glass, or window-pane glass.  Colored glass for this isn’t commonly available.


84 COE: Takes more time and a higher temperature to fully fuse than 96 COE glass, and isn’t all that commonly used or available for glass art.


33 COE (borosilicate): More forgiving of temperature variances than softer glass, allows complex constructions by joining separate components, and is excellent for organic flowing shapes.  It has a higher melting point than others.  ALSO note that borosilicate glass providers can deliberately widely vary this number away from “33 COE”!


8 to 14 COE estimate for quartz crystals.  My wild translated estimate from other sources says 7.2… “8 to 14” is from


2.8 COE for Ohara E6 low-expansion borosilicate glass as is used in large telescopes such as the “Magellan”.  Source here is


0.55 COE for quartz glass per . 


Quartz glass (along with other “engineering” glasses) isn’t even typically listed for a “glass COE number”, but it is ridiculously expensive with an off-the-charts-high melting point, and so, doesn’t even matter, in the (especially artistic) glass-working world.  For quartz CRYSTALS, I have researched and “fudged” an estimated number above, through sources, numbers, and calculations too boring to be repeated here, but thrown in above, anyway.  Crystals here are even more complicated, because apparently COE varies, depending on which axis (with respect to the crystal) that one measures it in!  So take my back-of-the-envelope estimate with a grain of salt, please…  I tried to force-fit the quartz-crystal number in with the commonly used estimates as used in the glass-working world, that is.  COE (glass-working) v/s CTE (engineering world) is SUPPOSED to be the same thing, but somehow, is not, at times!


A good (but different, with different details) alternative statement of the above is worth taking a look at, with respect to the glass-working world:  See .  ALSO see THIS guide to glass-working and “COE”! … And also see .


LionGlass COE number remains unknown to me, as do so many other details about LionGlass.  This may “cover my glass” for me, then, in having speculated so wildly, about so many things, above!  In passing, let me say, setting up a glass-float operation for creating large panes of art-glass, using techniques that I’ve been speculating about, may require standardizing to ONE fairly tightly controlled COE.  90 or 96, perhaps?  (I vote for 90).  And then glass-sands and “cookie” art to place on the ribbon (of the exact same COE-type of glass) should follow that standard.  Standardization goes a long way!

That said, we can also “cheat” and use non-glass materials (glues) to bond glass to glass (or other materials, such as whatever our “cookie” is made of) after the base glass has cooled.  For industrial-scale operations, see for auto windshields, where the following type of glue is used: , where clear glue is used from layer of glass to layer of glass…  For hobbyists, plastic hot-melt glue will do fine!  The hot-melt glue is hot, yes, and you’d think it might shatter cold glass (from thermal shock) that the hot glue contacts.  I personally tried it (for glass-on-plastic “permanent repairs”; one can’t undo the bonding) on hummingbird feeders, and it worked fine!  The heat-carrying capacity of the hot glue is low, so it doesn’t hurt the glass.  See for an excellent write-up.  Personally, here’s my words of wisdom for hobby work with plastic hot-melt glue:  It “runs”, if you try to add bulk plastic melt, to make a weld thicker.  When it “runs” before cooling, it looks ugly, like snot!  Take an ice-cube to speed-cool it down, on the surface, at least, and the deeper layers of the glue can be left to cool down slowly.  That is, the ice cube will speed-cool AND shape the cooling glue.  Push any “runs” that start to form, back to the base-pool of the hot-melt, using the ice cube.  Also throw in bits or strings of compatible types of plastic, to thicken the glue.  Plastic clothes line works well for that, AND for “sewing” together a rip, in, for example, a torn plastic garbage can, before applying the plastic hot-melt.  Experiment, or look up, what materials work well with hot melt glue.  Vinyl isn’t a good choice, I have learned!  (OK, end of digression).

In any case, if all else fails, CHEAT and use glue for bonding “cookies” to cold glass!  For hobbyists, instead of sand-blasting the glass, for a better glue-bond, roughen the glass using a Dremel tool with a tungsten carbide bit.  When my rear-view mirror’s mounting-base metal “button” lost its grip on my windshield, that’s what I did.  In this case, “Superglue” is commonly used.


Fake Stained Glass and Penrose Tiles… Dear Reader, I’m sorry if this is disorganized and-or stream-of-consciousness writing here, but…  I thought that before we get too far removed from creating flat panes of art glass on the float-glass process, I should fit this in.  Suppose we’ve standardized on COE 90 glass for the base-glass and the add-on “cookies”.  The “cookies” could simply be pieces of glass, in the style of classical stained-glass works.  Have your robot or machine place bunches of small pieces of different colors of glass (that compose your picture) out on the ribbon, leaving gaps (generally as small as possible, but big enough to mimic the “real” stained-glass art) between glass-pieces.  Now sprinkle on dark-colored glass-sand, to mimic the color of the lead-based solder in the “real thing”, and brush the sand into the cracks.  Add extra heat to improve glass-to-glass fusing, if needed, then anneal, and process as usual.  It will look much like traditional stained glass, except one side of it is a layer of clear glass.

Alternately, see “Penrose Tiles”.  See and , for example.  Take your one shape (and its reflection, see for that), or your two shapes (Penrose), and give them different colors (in glass of course).  Have them placed out on the ribbon, just the same as described above under “fake stained-glass” above, except that the gaps MIGHT not be needed, between glass pieces.  One could even get REALLY wild and crazy, and do the following, for example:  Create a “run” on your float-glass machine, using two slightly different colors (yellow and orange, for example).  Fab up a big supply of that.  Now do another “run” of blue and green tiles.  Take the results, and cut them into much larger tiles (of the same two Penrose shapes), with one set of tiles (shapes) being tiled yellow-and-orange and one set of tiles (of a different shape) being blue-and-green.  Now place THEM out onto the ribbon, next time around!  This is “Penrose squared”!  Higher numbers of layers may be possible.  Every time you do it, the final-product glass does get thicker and thicker, though, because of the clear-glass backing layers.  If used for floor or wall tiles, one could cut the final glass product into two basic shapes, and glue them to the floor or wall, and “Penrose” it yet again, for an utter artistic “riot for the eyeballs”!

Making these types of cuts in the glass will be slow, tedious, and expensive, though, I’d bet.  Near-impossible, even.  Study up on “lapidary glass cutting” and see .  As far as I can tell, a decent “glass-cutting jigsaw” doesn’t exist!  So for this scheme (of compounding the layers) to work, without discarding much of your product that can’t be cleanly cut off, and without taking ENORMOUS troubles to make strange-angled cuts in the middle of the product, the first (smallest) tiles would have to be cast (“sand-cast”?) individually.  Otherwise, I believe that single-level “Penrose tile” on glass backing, coming from the float-glass machine, and then cut SQUARE as the final product, is plausible.  Penrose-squared, or Penrose-on-Penrose, may not be plausible… Unless a very wealthy person will pay a LOT of money for it!

Concerning the immediately above, I might be wrong.  One might be able to leave clear areas surrounding a pre-planned “patch” of Penrose tiles (on the first layer or first pass of “Penrose on Penrose”), to set-up for deliberately discarding clear glass and “trimmings” off of the colored glass “patch”.  Periodically, the clear-of-Penrose-tiles glass should span the entire width of the ribbon, for easy score-and-break cuts of entire large sections of glass.  Then use this tool here, for still-impeded cutting: .  With good planning, most of your cuts could then be traditional score-and-break cuts, and the use of the diamonds-embedded-in-the-blade band saw could be minimized, too.  Save the trimmings and re-use them, and-or sell the colored segments to glass-art hobbyists!


A Whirl-Wind Tour of Glass-Art “Cookies”…  Returning now to “cookies” that can be placed on glass and fused, or placed on cold glass with glue…  One can create “canes” of colored glass, and slice them up.  Small canes can be bought at a popular source here: .  Large glass canes can be tediously created by fusing together many-many thin rods; for a spectacular example of that, see .  This link that shows a “cane” (less commonly, a “loaf”, in this case) of glass, and from there, This loaf of colored glass may not look like much from the outside, but slice into it and you’ll find an incredible recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Virgin on the Rocks.  Self-taught glass master Loren Stump has adapted a 4,000-year-old Middle Eastern technique to produce detailed images that are only seen when the glass ‘cane’ is cut into cross-sections.”  Sliced by a lapidary cutter; Probably a diamond-studded-wire cutter, in this case, I would bet.  Slices of such masterpieces command on the order of $5,000 each, so they are not for the faint of heart!

            For small glass “cookies” (as I have chosen to call them), see examples at and at , for almost-randomly chosen examples chosen by Yours Truly.  For larger works of art, the ”cookies” that I imagine would be larger.  Perhaps sand-cast, or created by some similar method?  I cannot find examples of such glass art items, sad to say…

            And shows an image of a garden scene, combining many small “cookies”.  I imagine MUCH larger scenes like this, but cast onto large panes from a float-glass machine.

            Durable and hard “cookies” of any kind can be durably glued onto cold glass, as previously mentioned.  Think of slices of rock, geodes, gems, or petrified wood; metals (bronze?  etchings”?), pottery, or enameled items.  Use your imagination and The Google, for yourself!  This paper is getting to be too long!


More-Opaque Flat Glass


Moving towards Ceramic-Style Tiles, Not Semi-Transparent Glass, now, I want to mention (before I forget!) wall-tiles and floor-tiles that are NOT even partially see-through.  Many such items already exist, but has anyone ever thought of the following:  See the custom drawings in this paper (far above) describing hot-glass guns.  Imagine feeding such a gun (close to the nozzle) with a mix of different colors of sand-glass, and-or, with some perlite, to be expanded at the last minute, with perlite expanded at 1,600 degrees F (871 degrees C).  One might get a mixed-colors, incompletely-mixed, fractal or psychedelic “tie-dyed” effect, with the (semi-foamed) glass-diluting perlite making the end product more affordable.  If the end-product is randomly “lumpy”, perhaps so much the better, artistically-visually, for wall tiles!  “Frozen bursting bubbles” in a frothy surface finish can be treated with clear sealing products, for sanitary and appearance purposes, but permit me not to linger too terribly long…  The Google Knows All Things!  Well OK, it’s been many years since I last bought such products, but here’s one: .  Note that “waterfall sealer” makes a good search-string term to add, to find suitable, durable (clear!) products, here.

If the result is too weak for floor tiles, dial back on the use of perlite, and-or add a layer of a fusible COE-compatible glass, if possible, and don’t forget to add a thin layer of “grit” for increasing friction, for reducing “slippery when wet” effects!  Or forget the “COE compatible” part, and GLUE on a suitable and cool-looking glass cover layer!

For glass-based substitutes for ceramic floor tile, including foamed or semi-foamed products using glass-plus-perlite, I wonder what would prevent the following approach from being used, for lower-cost product?  Lay down a base layer to reduce the costs, but still make the product thicker, to avoid breakage, during product production, transport, and application.  If appropriate, instead of producing the product and then cutting it, produce the product in square dividing forms, lined with “kiln wash” or ceramic paper, if such anti-bonding-to-the-mold liners are even needed at all.  Pour a vaguely COE-compatible layer of glass over the following type of affordable base layers: Raku pottery-type materials, cullet (recycled broken glass), “other”, or gravel.  Gravel partially wrapped in (or supplemented by) “compliant” ceramic paper or appropriate fibers (glass fibers, carbon fibers, ceramic or rock-wool fibers, for examples) might work.  Concrete, I think, is “out”, here, for not being high-temperature tolerant enough.  If the base layer cracks a wee tad, during all of this…  Then so what, so long as the surface layer of the overall product (tile) remains intact?  A bit of “spoilage” can be justified, too, in the name of affordability!  Or, cracks can be repaired from the back-side, using glue or cementitious products.

The “hot-glass gun”-enabled method, in the above applications for creating a glass or semi-glassy (perlite-foamed) version of fake “ceramic” tile (as elsewhere), might benefit from “focusing” molten-glassy-product using funnels and-or shields, directing the molten glassy product (perhaps glassy “froth”) onto an affordable substrate.  Search in this document for “shield” or (better yet) “template”, to zero in on that aspect of all things glassy-artistic!  I am suggesting these methods for using two or more colors within the same glassy tile, that is, using two or more hot-glass guns of different colors, and keeping clean color-dividing lines, if desired.

For “glassy” (glass-like, or containing glass in a mixture) tiles that aren’t even vaguely see-through (unlike traditional stained glass for windows), some other options open up.  In addition to glass, coloring agents, and touches of perlite, one could also feed into a hot-glass gun, sand that (unlike glass-sands) is NOT intended to be molten down.  Note that “engineered stone” today often contains quartz sand, in an epoxy binder, especially for kitchen counter-tops.  The epoxy binder causes the product to not be very heat-tolerant, nor tolerant of outdoor weathering, especially prolonged sun exposure.  Perhaps the epoxy binder could be replaced by a glass binder, if the formulation is correct?  So take your hot-glass gun, and experimentally feed it different formulations of glass-sands (possibly including LionGlass for its low melting point), natural sands NOT intended for melting (quartz sand or otherwise), perlite, various forms of “grit”, bits of heat-tolerant fibers, and so on.  SOME formulation just MIGHT create a durable, heat-tolerant and outdoor-weathering-resistant product!  Note that the “compliance” of expanded or semi-expanded perlite (plus fibers?) should help to guard against COE-mismatches between the unmolten sand, and the glassy ingredients.  Also note, one could glue on a clear protective “safety glass” type layer…  Perhaps even a thin layer of clear LionGlass, if it is affordable enough!

For your finishing surface layer of “engineered stone” made out of (or containing) sand, here is a “riot for the eyeballs” natural-stone target for you to shoot at:  Agate!  See ...


For glassy tiles, why not Include Ceramic Paper in the middle of it?  We don’t want to see through it, anyway!  So lay down some affordable base layer, and mostly disregard tight compatibility of the COE (Coefficient Of Expansion, of course) with the middle layer and-or with the top layer, if the glassy-tile composition even has three layers to start with.  On top of the base layer, you place a ceramic paper template (or discontinuous segments of paper).  Over the top of the ceramic paper, sprinkle your glass-sands which are now free to COE-mismatch the base layer.  These colored sands won’t bind (fuse) to the base layer, because of the ceramic paper.  If there’s not very much of this miss-matching sand (you just HAD to have some bright 33 COE colors in your 90 COE composition), then the ceramic tile will still “hang together”, even if the (for example) 33 COE glass-sands merely “sinter” a bit, and never melt or fuse decently.  Avoiding the use of 33 COE sands at the periphery of the tile might be wise, to keep them from falling out!  Capping the composition with a clear-glass layer will also help “keep it tighter”.  If need be, GLUE the top layer on, after cooling down the base layers.  In summary, incorporating ceramic paper into the middle of glass might enable selective “dodging” of COE-mismatch problems.


Pre-Fab Mosaics might be an obvious idea, but here goes anyway!  We’ve already covered “fake stained glass”; now do something similar with glass used as floor tile!  “Mosaic” tile on the walls isn’t traditional, but could be done.  Floor mosaics would be more traditional.  Fabbing them up in a float-glass factory could be done, but (to me at least) sounds like squandering the precious resources of a fully equipped float-glass factory!  If we DID do that, we MIGHT attempt to use “looks like grout to me” glass in between the mosaic fragments (as I speculated about using glass for “fake lead-based solder” in between pieces of “fake stained glass”), but then, that would inevitably “look funny” compared to the REAL grout (mortar), when we install sections of the pre-fabbed mosaic on the floor!  We can’t likely manufacture a 20 foot x 20 foot mosaic in one piece, and transport and install it, of course, so we have to do it in sections, you see, and join the sections (on the floor) with real grout or mortar, then.  So I think it safe to rule out huge sections of mosaic, cast in solid glass.

So we’d end up with raggedy-edged pre-fabbed mosaic-segments perhaps on the order of 1 square yard (or meter), to be placed together, puzzle-style, on the construction site.  The mosaic pieces?  Sure, glass, or glass-tile fabbing techniques as described in this paper should be relevant, there.  They would be then be placed by robots or machines (for costs savings) in mortar, on fiber-strengthened (likely cementitious) “backer-board”, similar to what lies behind your shower tiles.

Such mosaic “tech” (or similar “tech”) already exists…  See as the only one that I’ve found, that I consider worthy of inclusion here.


Decorated Concrete Blocks are another seemingly obvious idea, but I can’t find such things being mass-produced, or even semi-mass-produced, in the following sense:  Take your standard nominal concrete block 8 x 8 x 16 inches (actually 7.75 x 7.75 x 15.5 inches), and re-size it to remain the same, except (???) 1/4th to ½ inches (or so) is depth-subtracted all across one nominal 8 x 16 inch face, to make room for a glued-on art-glass (or ceramic, porcelain, or other) face.  Decorate “faces” as you see fit!  Now it can sit flush with regular, boring concrete block, to “liven things up” a bit, hopefully at no prohibitive costs, if you use only a few of them…  OR, use them to “paint” an entire picture!  That would get expensive, AND it would complicate having to keep track of which block goes where… OR one would have to glue on the art-glass (etc.) at the work site.

While I’m talking about construction blocks, concrete blocks, etc., let me dump in some links and notes that aren’t very strictly glass-related.  They ARE candidates for combining with glass, with recycling, efficiency, and caring about the environment!  See   Sad to say, from there, “But for now, a square meter of the building material holds roughly the energy of two AA batteries”.  Also see concerning recycled plastics being turned into construction blocks.


Kitchen Countertops could also (perhaps) be formulated using primarily glass and natural sands (not glass-sands) plus (“miracle happens here”) some of the usual lists of suspects for grit, fiber, coloring agents, and “chemicals” as described throughout this paper.  Search for “engineered stone”, especially in the slightly-above section here, describing glass or glassy tiles.  Once again, a bit of expanding-in-the-heat perlite might provide “compliance”, and guard against COE-mismatch problems.  The “magic mix” would be laid down into a form, by hot-glass guns.  The hot mix would be compressed by high-temperature-tolerant rollers (think of pie-dough rollers).  If no suitable rollers-materials can be found to prevent clinging (“sticking”) to the “dough”, perhaps ceramic-paper wrappers around the rollers would help.

Once again, the “big picture” here is to replace today’s “engineered stone” countertops’ epoxy sand-binder with glass for a binder, in hopes that the result would be more high-temperature-tolerant than formulations containing epoxy.  Such glass-based “engineered stone” should also be more weather-tolerant for outdoor use.

Countertops today are usually approximately 0.75 inches (2 centimeters) or 1.25 inches (3 centimeters) thick, so we’d want to shoot for that.  Width is typically around 25 inches, and lengths can be 8, 10, or 12 feet.  Cutting them cleanly and adding them end-on-end seems to be no problem.  Now with this kind of thickness, and containing a fair amount of real (assumed molten, not just sintered) glass, this formulation might require some long annealing time, and post-annealing cool-down time, to prevent thermal cracking.  Here is a set of ideas to speed-cool this formulation: Lay down a thin base layer first, and then lay down some small-diameter hollow aluminum (or other affordable, suitable metal) tubes, 25 inches long, spanning the width of the mold.  If need be, to alleviate COE mismatch problems, wrap each tube with ceramic paper, preventing metal-to-glass bonding.  Cover the tubes with another layer of our “magic formula” and “roller” it all together!  If the tubes tend to roll too much, clumping and even jumping over one another, during the “roller” process, then weave some wires into them, mat-of-reeds style (see for that). 

The metal tubes “in there” will be placed HOT, and will shrink more than the surrounding “magic formula”, and so they will leave gaps between themselves and their “matrix”.  These gaps are in ADDITION to the hollow air-flow-permitting voids within the tubes.  Now, post-annealing, one can force air through these voids.  As our cooling-air slowly cools, the airflow cooling is distributed throughout the matrix, as opposed to being concentrated on the surfaces only.  This is what constitutes our speed-cooling.  The sides of the forms could be removed at the appropriate time, to permit access for this forced-air cooling, while the form-bottoms stay in place, to prevent “slumping” of our countertop-to-be.


More Glass Hobby-World and “Inclusions” Notes Follow  See for a VERY good hobby site about glass-working!!!  Even if it is just in the name of “general glass-working FYI”, please look at this site!

And now, Dear Reader, I must hang my head in shame, and admit that there was MUCH about the glass-hobbies world that I knew little or nothing about, before I started this paper!  “Glass-fusing” can be small-scale and fairly affordable.  For a mere $34, you can buy a “kiln” that fits into your microwave oven, for glass fusing!  See .

For a medium-sized affordable glass-fusing “real kiln”, see, for example, for almost $400,   For a list of kiln choices, see .

All that being said for the “glass fusing” hobby world, as background, now see .  See the notes there under the headings “metal inclusions” and “organic inclusions”.

The above got me to thinking…  What could we do to scale up this “hobby stuff” to the industrial scale?  Now the following (I would think) would be more-so for “glass tile” art, and NOT for window-pane art, and I don’t think that I personally would want to buy such products as follows…  But to each their own!  Take a fairly loose or large-grid-sized wire mesh suitable for immersion into molten glass…  Just strong enough to support another layer, this time made of suitable fabric for supporting inclusions.  Glass fibers and rockwool fibers aren’t very strong, so co-weave these glass-compatible fibers with “jute” fibers (think burlap), hemp, or other organic, affordable fiber.  Perhaps this “blanket” might not be woven, but more like “felt”, and it only needs to be strong enough to support some “inclusions”.  Silanize the organic and-or mixed fibers, creating glassified fibers” (see far above), and lay this fabric over the wire mesh.  Now you are free to place, on top of that, leaves, colored glass-sands, thin metal shapes, or any other suitable materials!  It might even be possible to concoct a glass-compatible version of ceramic paper; preferably in different colors.  (All ceramic paper that I know of today, is white.)  Fab up “fake leaves” out of colored ceramic papers, for example, if possible.  Or grind in, glue, or otherwise attach colored glass-sands into your fake leaves.  Over the top of your “inclusions” layer (which you stretch tight and place onto the ribbon), you might place solid panes of clear glass, or sprinkle clear glass-sands, for a “sealer” layer.


COPV-Like Glass Pressure Vessels


COPV-like pressure vessels stand in a category (here) all by themselves.  I doubt that this will be practical, but I wanted to mention it in passing.  Just SUPPOSING that LionGlass is a near-miracle material (via the glass “meniscus effect”, for example; search for that term in this paper here), one might be able to reliably contain high-pressure gasses (or fluids in general), using LionGlass in a “tension mode”.  Just make yourself a COPV-like vessel out of LionGlass and pressure-test it!  I doubt that it will work very well…  But patent trolls claiming overly-broad patents are hereby thwarted!


Moving Towards Robo-Glass


RoboGlass  has often been implied or strongly implied above.  Let’s get more explicit now.  Especially in a float-glass environment of nitrogen plus hydrogen, locating (space-suited?) humans in there is prohibitive!  So AI and-or robotics is implied.  Train the robots to “do” art-glass!  What more need I say?  (This paper is too long already, so no, I won’t go researching robotics.)

See , a miss-titled web page that says pilots WILL largely become obsolete!  This may be relevant for high-production-volume art-glass working, for reasons fairly clear already, if you’ve read much of the above paper.  Many of the robots here (as I envision them) won’t be very humanoid at all.  See for a “robotic pilot” that’s not even vaguely humanoid, for example (this was embedded in Randy Duncan’s essay right above, here).  Our glass-working robots will come equipped with the tools listed in this paper, or similar tools, perhaps.  Humans will remote-control the tools first, and train AI to run them.  AI will be able to track the art-tools and use-styles for LARGE numbers of glass-art products, and, with human artistic-tastes feedback (as well as feedback concerning structural integrity of the glass art), learn to “do better”.

I have sometimes wondered why human glass artists don’t (as far as I know) create medium-to-large glass art by dribbling some liquid glass of one color here, and another color there, and selectively sprinkle colored-glass sands here and there, into a mold; perhaps a custom-shaped mold, for creating what I have called glass-art “cookies” above.  “Humans can’t stand the heat” up close and personal, for observing and working such a process very closely, is part of the answer, I think.  Custom heat-tolerant robots could!  The OTHER part of the answer is, all hot, glowing, molten glasses look somewhat the same, it seems to me!  The human artist will lose track of what is what, colors-wise!

A solution to that may involve a human remotely controlling the tools, or robo-tools, and wearing VR headsets.  Now the AI can keep track of which color of molten glass was placed where, and which color of sand was sprinkled where.  The AI can over-lay (to the human’s VR googles) the right colors of the molten-glass crucibles, glass-sand buckets, and the artwork-in-the-making.  The human can make human motions of ladling out the glass, cutting the “drool” off of the glass being applied, and sprinkling sands, all using human-intuitive motions.  The robo-glass-worker may use entirely different motions!  Ideally, human arms and hands might even (totally falsely) appear for human visual feedback, if that can be made to work.  Oh, and add “haptic feedback”, too, perhaps.  Reach out and “touch” the molten glass, see how thick or thin it is, and how hot it is, and push it around a bit, all while the AI, robots, and tools do the REAL things, to the glass!  After a while, via AI, the robots can learn to do these things for themselves, perhaps.

Similar principles may apply to the robots working on float-glass from above.  The float-glass environment doesn’t leave much time for working slowly and carefully, as the glass keeps on flowing by, so what I describe above might not be quite as relevant to the float-glass world, as it might be to the art-glass “cookie” world.  Or paperweight, or other stand-alone glass art…  I don’t mean to imply that all “cookies” are meant to be married up to a layer of base-glass.

Some human glass-art buyers may object to robo-glass, and the probable loss of some work for human glass artists.  For them, if they’re willing to shell out the big bucks, we MIGHT want to re-consider what I have previously written, and go ahead and equip humans with cooled-air-fed hoses in space suits, with hot air (also containing carbon dioxide from the glasstronaut’s breath) routed back out of the float-glass factory, to keep the factory atmosphere in there as pure as possible.  Now the robots can be forced to compete with human artists, and “human-made” (or at least “partially human-made”) certified labels can be attached to the resulting glass art!

What would OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have to say about all of that?  If you as a glass artist can OWN that hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-worth float-glass factory, the factory might possibly be considered to be like your private-tinkering garage, and not be OSHA regulated.  But I would bet that as soon as you add ONE single employee, you’d better give up your aspirations of becoming a glasstronaut!

            If you DO manage to become a glasstronaut (in the USA with OSHA approval, or in a non-USA location, or otherwise), then there could be some side benefits that I will bet that you did NOT think of!  Think of what the entertainment industry (AKA Hollyweird) could do with this!  Spy glasstronaut Tom Cruise quietly dangling from above the molten-glass ribbon!  The former “Governator” (Arnold Schwarzenegger) might swagger around, spewing molten glass, twirling grickle-blobbers, laser grickle tools, and hot-glass guns right and left, fighting evil glasstronauts from the future!


Example Art-Glass Compositions


A few Art-Glass Compositions (suggestions, samples) follow, using what we have learned, and what I’ve speculated about!  In the future, you might go to Etsy and buy some “cookies” that you like, and can afford, for adding to your float-glass image-art.  That’s optional… You could have the art-glass company and their robots do it all, from scratch.  Now you can consult with your AI artist (or the AI artist of the glass-working corporation), who knows what is, and what is not, possible in glass.  You go around and around with your AI artist, till you’re happy with a composition (detailed picture), before ordering your art.  That’s “in general”.  Let’s look at specific cases now…

From Etsy, you bought a fairly large comical-but-beautiful kind of a bird with crackled-glass finish, with the “feathers” being crackled, iridescent glass.  Bird in hand, there’s no more need to beat around the bush!  You LOVE your bird, and decide to go ahead and spend a pretty penny or two, for a large window art-glass composition.  You take many pictures of your bird (with a coin or dollar bill for sizing the bird, in the photos), and email them to your AI artist.  Your AI advises you that this “cookie” will need to be GLUED on after the glass is cooled down.  This crackled bird goes in the foreground, since it is fairly large.  Around it (further “back”) there will be smaller birds of the same kind, but “grickled” via grickle tools, into a colored-sands layer on a large pane of green glass, suggestive of grasslands.  All of the birds will be cackling comically but joyfully!  A few other “cookies” in the background are comical-looking grasslands herbivores, cavorting and kicking up their heels.  All cookies will be “masked out” on the green glass, with ceramic paper, later to be peeled off, for better glue-bonds where the “cookies” will go.  In the foreground, some tufts of grass are “grickled” onto the top of the green base layer of glass.  In other places (clouds, the sky, the bark of trees, or different shades of green for tree-leaves), other colors of glass-sands will be applied.  All of this (minus “cookies” to be glued) will be arranged on a glass pane, also leaving room for suction pads for the “octopus glass-grabber” for placing it out upon the ribbon.  It is all processed per previous notes far above, in this paper.

The resulting composition can be called a “cackling crackled grackle and cackling grickled grackles on grickled-grass-glass, high-class glass artwork”, or some such!  Invite your guests to say that repeatedly, really fast, now!

So here’s another one.  A comical happy humanoid (barely recognized as a human) is whimsically but hopefully fishing for a certain species of fish, in a babbling steam.  Up and down the stream, a few fish are jumping out of the water, grinning broad smiles, perhaps even sticking their tongues out at the fisher-humanoid.  The fisher-humanoid has a fry-pan at the ready, and is reading a book.  If the viewer is close enough, for the title of the book to be readable (this might need to be a glued-on “cookie”), it seems to be some sort of cook-book.  Behind the stream, a comically, improbably twisted, distorted castle reaches into the sky.  From a castle window, a criminal-type-looking comical character (in dark stubble, black bandit eyes-mask, and striped prison uniform) leers out.

This composition is called “Dr. Bruce and His Crook-Rook-Brook Snook-Cook-Book”!  If we have enough room to show Dr. Bruce snacking while fishing, it might even be “Dr. Bruce Eating Grickled Pickles and Reading His Crook-Rook-Brook Snook-Cook-Book”!

OK, one more:  An old-timey circus (more likely zoo) train-car has broken free, and is careening down the hill-side tracks.  Dr. Bruce’s assistant is vainly trying to lasso passing small evergreen trees, to snag them and slow the train-car down.  Terrified zoo animals stare at the panicking cartoonish humanoids, as Dr. Bruce throws his dessert-bowl and drinking glass to the winds, rushing towards his assistant, hoping to help.

This one is called “Dr. Bruce, his Mousse, Juice, and Spruce-Noose, with a Goose and a Moose on a Caboose on the Loose”!

Later, alligator!


Concluding Remarks


Dear Reader, please forgive me if the immediately above was silly, or even “impish”!  Now I will try to be serious for a few more sentences…  I will be serious, AKA “im-impish”, or, then, canceling the double negative, I will do my best to be “pish” from here on in!

AI and robots are on the loose, “threatening” us with ever more, and more affordable, goods and services.  (Frankly, I personally doubt that glass-working robots will ever create glass as awesome as “Tiffany Glass”, or other, more-recent art-forms.)  Mass-produced (but still somehow often “custom”!) glass artworks fits right into this picture here, though!  Much of my above writing is speculative, to be sure.  Hopefully there are some good ideas here, that MIGHT be able to be made to work!  Now all we need is a few hundred million dollars for R&D, and for a customized, expanded float-glass factory.  SOME of the ideas above (which are which should be obvious) should be able to be developed and tested, for MUCH less than that!  Take baby steps first!  So…  Here are the ideas, and good luck to you!


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